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Sleep Routine

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…

How to Become a Morning Person

Summer vacations, travel, holidays—there are plenty of reasons that a sleep schedule can fall off the tracks. If you have a habit of staying wide-eyed until midnight, but have an alarm that blares at 6:00am, then it’s time to shift back to reality and get the sleep that you need. Luckily, it’s easy to train your body to feel tired when it should, so you can fall asleep earlier and wake up when your alarm beeps. Follow the Rule of 15. Trying to convince your body to make a bedtime leap in a single night can leave you tossing and turning. After all, you can put yourself to bed, but you can’t make yourself sleep—if…

How to Sleep Better on a Train

Sleeping well while traveling may seem like an oxymoron, but it is possible—especially if your journey is by train. It’s less stressful than traveling by car (you don’t need to worry about giving directions to the driver) or airplane (no security lines to deal with!). In fact, many people say that the rocking motion of the train lulls them to sleep. So follow these four tips the next time you travel via rail. All aboard the train to Sleepy Town! 1. Keep Your Ticket Displayed. Most train seats have a small slot to place the ticket in, so keep yours there (as opposed to in your pocket, wallet, or purse) while you sleep. If there…

Is It Possible to Get Too Much Sleep?

Experts often talk about how Americans aren’t getting nearly enough sleep these days. But what about the opposite problem? Sure, it’s a lot less common, but is it bad to get way more than the recommended amount of sleep? The answer is yes. First, a quick note: This is not referring to people who sleep slightly more than seven to nine hours a night. For instance, routinely getting 10 hours of sleep is still healthy, even though most people don’t need it (only about two percent of the population does). It’s also not about people who sleep in super late one Saturday after a long week, are dealing with jet lag, are