10 Ways for Your Family to Get More Sleep

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1. The Basics

In general, adults need about 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Children can require even more. If you are rising at 6 AM, then do the math. You should be asleep by 10 or 11 at the latest. Whoever is hosting The Tonight Show this week will just have to find another audience. Get yourself to bed.

2. Strict Bed Times for the Kids

Is your teen watching George Lopez on Nick after midnight? If so, it’s time to put the parent hat back on and readjust things. Set firm bed times for each of your children based on their ages and sleep requirements. Despite all the moaning and groaning, their grades, lives and general disposition will improve greatly.

3. Protect Your Health

Simply by getting proper rest, we can greatly lower the risks of a myriad of health issues. Your immune system does not work nearly as well when your body is constantly tired. Place sleep in the same priority as a healthy diet, exercise and all the other things that help you live longer.

4. Make Use of The DVR

Of all the gadgets we have at our disposal now, the DVR may be the greatest. Use it! “Dad, can I stay up until 10 so I can watch American Idol?” This is a question that you can reply back with, “No, but I will record it so you can watch it later.” This also doubles as great family time later. A Saturday morning spent catching up on AI, Survivor and The Amazing Race together as a family is priceless.

5. The Bed Is Your Castle

Nothing feels quite as good as when you first fall down in bed after a long hard day. Does your family all have proper bedding? Of all the items to skimp on to save money, your bed is not one of them. A quality mattress is essential to good rest. When your family lays their heads down to sleep, make sure it’s on a decent bed.

6. Control Light

Does your 6 year old say, “Daddy it’s still light outside” when she goes to bed? Are you awakened by the glaring bright sun on Saturday mornings because of the lack of proper blinds? Investigate all the bedrooms in your house for light issues. Talk to an expert on the best products to control the light in the ways you would desire.

7. Noise Pollution

Since going green is all the rage, let’s throw noise into the unwanted pollution pile as well. It might be a bit hard for your toddler to fall asleep if Dad’s TV is blaring the Lakers game. Carefully consider the placement of all the items that cause noise in your home. Adjust as needed.

8. Pray

When we have a hard time sleeping it is usually because of a racing mind. Worried about the bills. A tough project at work. All types of things tend to pop up in our heads when we least need it. Teach your family to pray before they get in bed. Give those thoughts to God and clear your mind. God requires no sleep. You do.

9. To Nap Or Not To Nap

‘Tis the question. It all depends on when this nap occurs. Your infants and toddlers absolutely require a daytime nap. Elderly folks should also catch a little sneak nap. For the rest of us, catching a quick “cat nap” may actually throw our sleep schedule off.

10. Watch The Intake

You eat a big bowl of Texas style chili at 9 pm. You awaken at 1 am with terrible heartburn. If this is you, then you need to start thinking about what you eat and when. Make sure your family considers sleep when planning your weekly meals. Also watch out for late afternoon caffeine.