A go-to routine for a good night’s sleep (you AND your kids!)

Good sleep hygiene can improve our physical and mental health, and we can all learn how to get better sleep. Creating good habits during the day and at bedtime can help everyone in the family get more shuteye.

By Monika Roots, MD

November 19, 2021

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I cannot tell you how many times friends and patients have asked me, “How can I get my kid to sleep!? I am exhausted and don’t know what to do!”

The truth of the matter is that good sleeping habits are a learned behavior and not something that you are simply born with. Patterns of sleep are developed at a very young age. But, no matter how old you are, there are always things that you and your loved ones can do to get better sleep. And, it’s important! Studies consistently show a bidirectional relationship between sleep and mental health.

First things first: everyone needs different amounts of sleep. The optimal amount of sleep not only ensures we have energy the next day, but it also allows the body to repair itself and the brain to store long-term memories. Yep! You read that right — sleeping helps us remember things! 

Based on CDC guidelines, here are the optimal sleep amounts of sleep by age:

As I said, a good night’s sleep is something we learn how to do. And, there are a number of things we can do during the day and around bedtime to help. Here are just a few:

Not only is it important to do things that help you get sleepy, but setting the stage and making a “sleepy bedroom” can also make a huge difference:

These and many other techniques can be helpful for getting a good night’s sleep. Studies show that improving sleep can have a beneficial impact on mental health. If you need help personalizing these tips for you and your family, or learn other techniques to help, we are here to help you!

Citations

1. “Research without Barriers” Accessed November 2021 https://www.northwichguardian.co.uk/news/national/15895043.mums-dads-childrens-superheroes-poll-finds/

2. Burstein, M., & Ginsburg, G. S. (2010). The effect of parental modeling of anxious behaviors and cognitions in school-aged children: An experimental pilot study. Behaviour research and therapy, 48(6), 506-515.Drake, K. L., & Ginsburg, G. S. (2012).

3.Family factors in the development, treatment, and prevention of childhood anxiety disorders. Clinical child and family psychology review, 15(2), 144-162.

4. Wei, C., & Kendall, P. C. (2014). Parental involvement: Contribution to childhood anxiety and its treatment. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 17(4), 319-339.

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