by sally nazari, psyd
Most of the people I work with loooooove a good nap after or to sleep in on days off, but daylight savings time has thrown a wrench in even the healthiest of sleep schedules!
Use the following rules of thumb to help you and your teen find a healthy sleep routine:
• Create a sleep routine that begins at least 1 hour before going to bed. Just like when we were getting into a routine for our day to day lives as youngsters, we need time to relax and transition to sleep. A sleep routine should consist of relaxing activities that cue the mind and body for sleep. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and Mindfulness work well in a sleep routine.
• Establish consistent sleep and wake times. Avoid using the “snooze” button on your alarm clock… it seems impossible, but it can be done!
• The bed should be for sleeping only. Wakeful activities in bed confuse the mind and body, and the bed no longer becomes a cue for sleep and rest. This means homework, FaceTime with friends and Netflix require another comfy space in the home.
• Create a relaxing environment. Comfy blankets and pillows will help create the conditions for sleep. Be mindful of how light and temperature impact your comfort too.
• Avoid heavy meals and spicy foods before bedtime.
• Avoid any stimulation before bedtime, including arguments or conflict, vigorous activity, or anything else that is likely to activate your mind and body.
• Get exercise during the daytime.
• If you are unable to sleep after 20 minutes, get up and do something boring and/or relaxing until you are sleepy and ready to return to bed. Don’t just lie in bed with your mind racing for hours!
A good sleep routine leads to a more positive overall mood AND it’s a great way for both you and your teen to feel a sense of power over your own emotional health.
What sleep rules did you come up with to help you get your best night of rest this week? Hit reply and share with me!
Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook , Twitter , LinkedIn , and YouTube pages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “ Beyond the Couch ” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self in the life you want to celebrate!
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