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Sleep Routine

How to Overcome 3 Common Sleep-Related Mistakes

Getting enough sleep at night certainly isn’t easy—but it’s not impossible, either. Fixing the following five common mistakes will help you get on the track to better zzz’s. Mistake #1 That afternoon coffee break Some 78 percent of Americans consume caffeine on the regular. And sipping coffee or tea with your breakfast can be a great way to feel more alert as you begin to tackle your to-do list. But another cup later in the afternoon—or worse yet, after dinner—can have serious, negative effects on your sleep, making it harder to drift off. In fact, having caffeine six hours before turning in could cost you an hour of sleep. In other words, having an afternoon coffee might…

5 Ways Being Well Rested Improves Your Life

You probably know that you should be sleeping seven to nine hours a night, but do you really know why? It’s not just that you’ll feel more energy (although that’s a definite plus). There are a lot of other benefits that arise when you prioritize sleep. That’s because while you’re asleep, your body is hard at work healing itself and optimizing different processes. The result: better physical and mental health when you wake up in the morning. These are just five of the benefits that you’ll experience when you’re well rested:You’re better able to focus and learn. When you have had a good night’s sleep, it’s easier to keep your attention on something…

Help Your Kids Share a Bedroom (Peacefully)

Sharing a bedroom, whether by choice or necessity, can be an opportunity for siblings to bond and learn important life lessons about cooperation. But for many parents, the real concern is whether their cohabitating kids are going to get any sleep. Here are some tips for making the most of your kids’ shared sleep space after lights out. Respect each child’s bedtime needs. Sharing a room doesn’t have to mean sharing a bedtime. Create a special nighttime routine that allows each child to be tucked in when it best suits his or her individual sleep needs. That may mean putting the baby to bed before getting an older child into pajamas and reading books in…

The Best Sleep Schedules for Kids

You schedule your children’s soccer practices, school activities, and play dates—but don’t forget to schedule their sleep, too. Setting your little one up with a consistent nighttime routine will give the whole family a better night’s sleep (and hopefully end the “I don’t want to go to bed!” tantrums). Follow these rules for sleep schedule success. Rule #1: Know how much shuteye your kid needs The first step in establishing a sleep schedule is determining when bedtime should be. Use this guide to ensure that your child is hitting the sheets with enough time to get the recommended amount of sleep for his or her age. If your tot’s bedtime needs tweaking, make gradual…

Stop Hitting the Snooze Button Once and For All

Your clock or phone alarm might have a snooze option, but it’s worth it to pretend that it doesn’t exist. The extra sleep that you can get by hitting snooze comes in small chunks and isn’t good quality—and it can actually do you some harm. Since the snooze session doesn’t last long enough for you to finish a complete sleep cycle, you could end up feeling super groggy for the first hour and a half of your day. So how do you break the habit? These five tactics will get you there:Focus on the reason you want to wake up earlier. Whatever your motivation—maybe you want to become a morning exerciser, feel…

Healthy Sleep in a Broader Context

My sleep was cut short more than once this week when I awoke at 4:40 am to the chorus of birds outside my window. After awakening to the joyful early morning chirps, I started thinking about the workday ahead. Before I knew it, I had to get up and start the day. My disrupted sleep is a reminder that our sleep occurs in a broader context, some of which is outside our control. Regardless of all of my healthy sleep behaviors: following a routine bedtime schedule, maintaining a dark and cool bedroom environment, and turning off electronics in advance of bedtime, my sleep was still affected by outside forces Despite engaging in healthy sleep behaviors,…

Transition Your Kid's Bedtime for Back to School

The first-day outfit is picked out, the pencils are sharpened, and the new backpack is ready to go by the front door. But before you and your family jump into the new school year, make sure that you’ve tackled your child’s sleep schedule, too. After a summer of late nights and laid-back mornings, it’s likely that your kid could use help adjusting to the earlier bedtimes and wake-up calls. Not only will this lead to fewer “I don’t want to get out of bed!” fights, but it’s important for your child’s learning: Even just 25 minutes of less sleep per night can lead to lower grades, and insufficient rest has also been linked to fatigue…

What Does Losing an Hour's Sleep Mean to You?

Many people experience a mix of emotions with the start of Daylight Saving Time, including an appreciation for the longer days, annoyance at the need to change every clock, and hope that spring will soon arrive. Accompanying these emotions are the physical and mental challenges of adapting to the time change. These challenges are due, in large part, to the loss of an hour’s sleep. What does losing an hour’s sleep mean to you? Think of all the benefits we gain from sufficient, high quality sleep. Better cognitive performance, increased emotional regulation, heightened ability to make healthy choices, and more efficient physical activity, are just some of…

Sleep Methods for Babies

For new parents, few things can be as frustrating or confusing as figuring out how to get your little one to fall asleep at night. And the best way to turn nighttime into a dream is up for a lot of debate. These are the three biggest schools of thought when it comes to sleep training your baby:  The Ferber Sleep Method Created by Richard Ferber, M.D., director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital Boston, this method is one of the most well-known ways to get your baby to fall asleep. He recommends starting when your baby is between three and five months old. The first night that you put your…

What is Ideal Pillow Talk?

In today’s busy world, finding quality time to spend with your significant other can be tricky, and for some couples, it may seem that bedtime is the only moment of the day that they’re able to spend alone together. That’s why it’s especially important to cherish pillow talk. Not only can this one-on-one time improve your relationship, but it can also help your sleep—as long as you discuss the right topics. Enhance your pillow talk time with these tips. Keep Tech Out. The bedroom should be limited to sex, sleep, and pillow talk. Not only can the blue light emitted from cellphones, tablets, and laptops hurt the quality of your sleep, but the…