The word “family” can often be synonymous with “no sleep.” From diaper changes, nightmares, and bed-wetting to bouts of the stomach flu, new parents might fear that they’ll never sleep again. Fortunately, there is an arsenal of help for families struggling to get a good night’s sleep. Follow some of these suggestions, and hopefully your sleep problems will start to resolve.
Avoid Sugar and Caffeine Before Bedtime
This sounds obvious, but consuming sugar or caffeinated before bedtime is not a good way to get quality sleep. Many young parents, exhausted by midnight. feedings, resort to caffeine throughout the day just to function. It is suggested that you stop consuming caffeine eight hours before you plan to sleep. And as for the youngest member of your family? Keep in mind that the chocolate ice cream they ate last night does contain both caffeine and sugar. Yes, chocolate contains caffeine—the darker the chocolate, the more caffeine it contains. So eat dessert early if you can.
Use a Mattress Protector
Middle-of-the-night potty accidents are the worst. Suddenly at three a.m. you are charged with changing your child’s clothes and sheets and frantically scrubbing the mattress that’s bound to smell. If you have a mattress protector on your child’s bed though, changing the bed can wait until morning when you can easily throw the protector in the wash. And since they are waterproof, there is no need to worry about the mattress. So when this happens in the middle-of-the-night, just change their pajamas and let them sleep with you. Oh, and you’d better get a mattress protector for your bed too if you plan on sharing your bed often—better safe than sorry.
Put Lavender on Your Pillows
Lavender essential oil is known to have a calming effect as well as the ability to improve sleep—along with several other health benefits. It is also safe for every member of your family no matter their age, unlike many synthetic solutions. Place a few drops of the oil on you and/or your child’s pillow at night, to improve the quality of sleep.
Upgrade Your Mattress
If you or your children are not sleeping on good mattresses, chances are that the sleep you do get will not be high quality. It is suggested that on average you should change your mattress every eight or so years, but if you’re in a budget crunch, simply purchasing a mattress topper might extend the use of your mattress and improve the quality of your sleep. Mattress toppers are available in twin sizes, too.
Mind the Water
It’s not fun for anyone to have to make multiple bathroom trips through the night. If you can help it, try not to drink much water close to bedtime. Stopping water intake an hour or two before bed will make you less likely to wake with a full bladder. Hopefully, if you implement this advice with your kids, it will mean that they will have fewer accidents as well.
There are many ways to combat family sleep issues. Luckily, most of these suggestions are easy to implement. Any effort you make is worth it when you’re working to improve your whole family’s sleep routine. Getting that quality sleep will improve every area of your lives.