For young kids bedtime routines are so important. Bath, milk, book, cuddles, nursery rhymes and songs…..every parent works out their own version of what works and then tries to stick to it every night. The routine provides comfort and lets the body and mind know it is time to wind down, relax and go to sleep.
Then you grow up and all your ideas about sleep and bedtime change.
In my twenties I had started working full time. The focus was on trying to get enough sleep during the week to get through the work day. Then weekends were multiple late nights out with friends, and sleeping late.
Then in my thirties I had my children. The focus shifts to their sleep requirements, while you struggle through on what you can get. And you start to understand why sleep deprivation is a form of torture. My first child was a great sleeper, my second child the opposite and I was often heading to work on only a couple of hours sleep
Now I am in my forties. My attitude to sleep has changed again and I have gone back to realising how important those bedtime routines are. This time however it is for me, not for my kids. My routine changes slightly but in general:
- pjs on early,
- no eating after 8.00pm,
- small screens ( phone, ipad) down an hour(ish) before bed,
- Non screen based activity (eg. knitting) and herbal tea while watching tv,
- Read one or two chapters of book in bed,
- Lights out and meditate.
It is what works for me, although I am flexible and obviously don’t stick to it when out or with friends.
With an injured leg I have not been following my routines as I currently go to bed at the same time as my kids. I watch tv in bed to force me to put my leg up and stop moving. And while I am sleeping ok I have definitely noticed the difference.
My leg has also prevented me from doing my morning workouts and walks at lunchtime which also helps with sleeping and my mental health.
My lesson learnt – sleep is very important and bedtime routines help with the quality. That is why parents swear by their routines for children.
What are you bedtime routine tips? Any I haven’t thought of that you recommend I give a try