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  • Megan Robert

Do You Have a Good Relationship with Sleep?


Children are like sponges. They pick up on what we do or don't do, what we say, how we say it, what our attitudes are, etc. Your relationship with sleep and self-care is no exception.

Do you have a good relationship with your sleep? If you show your children that your own sleep is important to you, they are more likely to develop the same attitude.

If you are not sleeping well or could use some adjustments, below are some tips on how to improve your own sleep.

FIGURE OUT YOUR BEDTIME

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep on average. Thus, one of the steps in improving your sleep must be making sure that you get the optimal amount of sleep that your body requires. In order to do this, you will need to figure out that number. One easy way to do so is to to allow yourself to consistently go to bed at the same time and wake up on your own for a few weeks.

First, evaluate the earliest time during the week that you must be up for the day. This will be your designated, consistent wake time. If your children are usually your alarm clock, set your wake time for about fifteen minutes prior to their wake time.

Once you know what time you need to be awake, count back nine hours from that time. This will when you want to be falling asleep. Even if you are normally a night owl, you will want to do this as I am guessing, since you are reading this post, you have a child that requires you to wake up early. Since most adults need nine hours or less, this allows you to gradually figure out the amount of sleep you need without waking due to an alarm clock unless you reach that longer duration.

My Example

At the time that I figured out my sleep needs, I needed to be up by 7AM at the latest two days a week. I counted back nine hours from 7AM. I set an alarm for 7AM to make sure I didn't end up being late for work but giving myself nine hours of sleep at the most. With my calculations, I found that I needed to be asleep by 10PM. Not in bed by 10PM, but asleep by 10PM. So every night, I started going upstairs to prep for bed by 9:30PM at the latest in order to allow myself to be in bed and falling asleep by 10PM.

BE MINDFUL

Once you know your bedtime, consistently try being asleep at that time for a few weeks. Pay attention to your mood and your energy the following day. Keep track of what you did before bed, the time you got in bed, the time you actually went to sleep, etc.

My Example:

I discovered that I need the longer duration of sleep. I was ready to get out of bed after nine hours of sleep. If I got in bed and was out before 10PM, I was usually up before my 7AM alarm. It ended up being exactly nine hours almost every time. If I missed my opportunity to get to bed before 10PM and was woken up by my 7AM alarm, I was tired the following day.

CONSISTENTLY GET THE SLEEP YOUR BODY NEEDS

Once you know how much sleep you need, do your best not to deviate from a consistent bedtime and wake time. Try to stick to a routine all seven days of the weekend.

Yes. This means even on weekends.

If you have a big weekend coming up, expect to be tired the following week and allow yourself to get back on track. Deviating by about an hour occasionally won't effect you too much. However, being up until midnight every weekend or several nights a week can definitely throw your entire routine off for the f