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7 Tips to Improve Sleep for Parents

Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

Although the experience of parenthood is different for everyone, there is one thing all parents have in common and that is lack of sleep.  Sleep deprivation can affect our physical, mental and emotional well-being.  Research shows that sustained sleep deprivation can lead to things such as exhaustion, illness, weight gain, depression, and anxiety.  

For some parents, especially those with newborn babies, it is hard to control the amount of sleep that they get.  What they can control, however, is the quality of their sleep.  Here are 7 tips to improve your sleep:

1. Sleep in a Dark Room

The smallest amount of light in a room can have a negative impact on your rest.  Try to eliminate as much light as you can before falling asleep.  Set a timer on your tv, turn your phone or devices off, and face your alarm clock to the wall to help minimize the amount of light in your bedroom while you sleep.

2. Reduce Caffeine Intake

Your body and nervous system can still be affected by caffeine five to six hours after you consume it.  Try to avoid drinking caffeinated coffee, tea, or soda a few hours before bedtime.  This will make it easier for you to fall asleep at night.

3. Create a Noise Free Environment

Research shows that noise can affect your sleep because it causes extra production of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.  It can also elevate your heart rate and blood pressure.  Turning off the tv before bed and creating a noise-free environment can help improve your quality of sleep.

4. Use a Weighted Blanket

The pressure of a weighted blanket can activate your parasympathetic nervous system and help put your body into rest and digest mode.  People who sleep with a weighted blanket report that they are able to fall asleep more easily, they feel more relaxed, they sleep through the night

better and they wake up feeling well rested.

5. Practice Meditation/Breathwork

Meditation and breathwork help to relax the body and calm the mind.  Before bedtime, try practicing 1:2 breathing.  This is a practice in which you ensure your exhale is twice as long as your inhale.  One way to do it is to inhale for a count of four and exhale for a count of 8.  You can repeat this for three to five minutes or until you feel relaxed.

6. Take a Shower or Bath

Taking a hot shower or bath about 90 minutes before bed can have a calming effect on the body and can improve breathing by opening your nasal passages.  Research shows it also lowers your core body temperature which is a signal that tells the body it’s time for bed.

7. Establish a Routine or Ritual

Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can have a positive effect on your sleep.  It is also helpful to establish a bedtime routine to help prepare your body for rest.  My routine includes a shower, restorative yoga, meditation/breathwork, and diffusing essential oils however I encourage you to create a personalized routine that works best for you.

When the amount of sleep you get is beyond your control, the next best thing to do is to improve the quality of the sleep you do manage to get.  I’ve just shared seven ways to improve sleep, but there are more habits that you can adopt.  Sleep plays a key role in optimizing your health and well-being so be intentional about making sleep a priority and try out some of the tips mentioned above.

For more information about ways to improve your wellbeing by changing your habits visit: https://linktr.ee/loveandlightempowerment 

Instagram: @keishaempowers   


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