There are probably a ton of things on your plate – work, school, kids, etc. It’s totally understandable when healthy habits fall through the cracks, and you start to notice you may not be getting enough sleep. Getting enough sleep is an important piece of the healthy habits puzzle. This goes for everyone in your family, kids and adults alike! 

Research by the National Sleep Foundation shows that one in every three adults report headaches, irritability and difficulty with routine activities as a result of poor sleeping habits. So what can you do to change the cycle? Let’s take a look at a few common sleep hurdles, and then get into some simple tips to improve your sleep. 

Racing thoughts and stress

During high-stress times, you might find it more difficult than usual to put your worries aside to get some much needed rest. Or maybe it’s common for your brain to go into overdrive when your head hits the pillow.

Take five minutes to make a list. Write down everything on your mental to-do list that is keeping your brain from allowing you to get some rest. You may find it easier to relax after all your worries are written down on paper and your list can be a tool for you tomorrow. Is your child struggling with racing thoughts? Have them try this technique too! Get a special journal or fun pen for their nightstand to help them process their thoughts at bedtime.

Restless body

Is your body actually tired at bedtime, or are you feeling restless and full of energy? There could be many reasons for this, whether you weren’t able to get much physical movement into your routine, or just finished watching an action movie.

There are ways you can calm your body at bedtime! The first line of defense is getting 60 minutes of exercise or physical movement per day. But this isn’t always possible, so here are some other tips to help your body wind down for the night.

Try to relax your body about an hour before bedtime. Some things you might enjoy include taking a warm shower or bath, doing a short breathing exercise or meditation, or doing some stretches or gentle yoga.

Kurbo coach pro tip: Gentle yoga and breathing exercises are great activities to do as a family! Try a different one each night and see what everyone likes best. Then add it into your kids’ bedtime routine.

Running behind schedule

Is your family’s schedule so packed with work, school, activities, and friends that you aren’t getting to bed at a reasonable time? A common addition to this problem is overconsuming sugary foods or caffeine later in the day to keep your energy up. These habits can lead to later bedtimes and not being able to fall asleep once you are able to get to bed.

If your schedule feels too crowded, do an audit of your schedule! Write down each activity and commitment, hour by hour, over the course of the day. Take a good look at your list and think about what commitments are important to you and what could be dropped in order to add a decent bedtime to your priority list. Alternatively, are there gaps in your schedule earlier in the day that could be used for something that you typically do at nighttime, like meal prep or physical activity?

If the process of improving your sleep seems daunting, start by picking one tip from this list. Start with a schedule audit or a simple breathing exercise before bed. Try strategies with your kids until you find what works for your family! The most important thing is that you can start improving your sleep quality tonight.