I’ve always felt like getting enough sleep is so important to my well being. Physically, mentally, emotionally…it is all impacted by my hours of sleep. I am a better person when I have had a good night’s rest. As such, I have really pushed my kids to also get plenty of rest.
My husband was out of town for a few days last week and I really slept horribly! I was in a daze during the day and overtired at night. The lack of sleep really impacted my energy and brain function! I felt so tired and I couldn’t function with the day to day activities. I am finally sleeping better.
Kids today are overbooked and overstimulated with all the crazy things in life! Sleep is one of the first things to be neglected. Calculate how much sleep your kids are getting. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:
- Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
My kids always tell me that they aren’t getting enough sleep. They average 8-9 hours. They could probably be happy with 10 hours. For me, I know if I sleep 8 hours, I feel great!
Bedtime routines are essential to a good night sleep. Try to come up with some routines that will work with your family. Here are some of our bedtime routines.
- Family scripture study and Family Prayer. This is one of the best ways to help calm everyone down and get them ready for bed.
- Tuck your kids in. One of us always tucks them in and gives them a kiss. Start when they are young and they will still appreciate it as they get older.
- Personal scripture time and prayer. This is so important and really is a great way to calm my mind and relax me and get me ready for bed.
- Set a timer for Bedtime. Because who doesn’t get distracted at night?Our goal is 8:00 PM (If we are home). We have family prayer and scripture study then the kids shower, brush, and get ready for bed. They call us when they are ready to be tucked in. It is usually after 9:00. That’s why we have to start so early, because they take sooooo long to get ready for bed.
- Story time. When the kids were younger they would get a story read to them in their rooms. They loved this. Now, if they aren’t tired by the time they get to bed, they can read on their own.
- Keep your room a nice cool temperature. My kids all have a fan in their rooms if they get hot as well as extra blankets if they get cold.
- Get each kid their own alarm clock. When our kids were in Kindergarten, we got them their own alarm clocks. They loved feeling so big and grown up. And better yet, I don’t have to wake them up!
- Night lights. We have night lights in each hallway. When the kids were scared at night, we would leave their doors open. Now most of them sleep with their doors closed.
- Get comfy jammies. My son is always hot at night so I cut all of his jammy pants into shorts or I bought him shorts jammies. My daughter is always cold (when the AC is on) so she loves snuggly jammy pants.
- Play calming music. When my kids were littler they would fall asleep to orchestra music, Piano Guys, hymns, or some other type of calming music. I think only one of my kids still listens to music to fall asleep.
- Don’t let your kids sleep in your bedroom! It was hard when they were little and they had a bad dream. We were tempted to just let them climb in our bed, but instead, I would go sit on their floor and try to comfort them until they fell asleep. Those were rough nights, but now they know to stay in their rooms. We even had a rule when they were little that they couldn’t come in until 7:00 AM.
- If you can’t sleep, find a calming distraction. When my husband can’t fall asleep, he will get up and do a crossword and then he can calm his mind and get to sleep quicker. My daughter said to just focus on each part of your body starting with your head and focus on relaxing each part all the way down to your toes. I actually tried that one day and it was quite calming.
- Don’t let them sleep in too long in the mornings. This really wasn’t even an issue until my kids turned into teenagers. I think they could sleep all day if I’d let them! I usually wake up my kids by 9:00-10:00 AM.
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”Benjamin Franklin
Elder Harold B. Lee gave Marion G. Romney advice about getting up early. He said: “I will give you one piece of advice: Go to bed early and get up early. If you do, your body and mind will become rested and then in the quiet of those early morning hours, you will receive more flashes of inspiration and insight than at any other time of the day.”
Years later, reflecting back on that experience, then-President Romney said: “From that day on, I put that counsel into practice, and I know it works. Whenever I have a serious problem, or some assignment of a creative nature with which I hope to receive the influence of the Spirit, I always receive more assistance in the early morning hours than at any other time of the day.”
I have seen this in my life. My greatest inspiration comes in the early morning hours when my body and mind are rested and calm. I hope that you too can find time for adequate sleep. It makes such a difference! What do you do to sleep better?
Getting enough sleep has so many benefits…Health, wealth, and wisdom…what more could you want? My family has had great sleep habits and we have stayed healthy, the kids have excelled in their education, and have had a lot of good laughs along the way. We’re still working on the wealth part of it…Have you seen any blessings from getting enough sleep?
- How much sleep do we really need?
- Filled With Life and Energy