Every mother knows that ta lack of sleep tonight leads to an irritable child tomorrow. Now, a study that monitored 2,000 adults over an 8-day period reveals that a lack of sleep impacts adults as much as it does children. This study also provides a little more specific look at that impact. Let me share 3 things this study revealed.
- Adults who got more sleep reported higher levels of positive emotions and lower levels of negative emotions than those who got less sleep.
- Stressful events did NOT lessen positive emotions the day after a good night’s sleep like they did after a poor night’s rest.
- A good night’s sleep contributed to an “even greater boost in the positive emotions experienced the next day.” In other words, positive emotions were even better after a good night’s sleep.
These findings reveal how sleep impacts each of us. However, these results also show how sleep impacts our families. First, a lack of sleep contributes to irritability, which can harm family relationships over time. Second, positive emotions build stronger family relationships. A lack of sleep robs us of positive emotions. Getting enough sleep, on the other hand, prepares us to experience and enjoy positive emotions…and positive emotions cultivate greater intimacy.
So for the sake of your family, get to bed. Develop a good sleep habit.
Here are some hints to help you get a better night’s sleep.
- Keep a regular bedtime and “wake up time.” Go to bed at a similar tune every night and set your alarm to get up at the same time every morning. This will contribute to a good night’s rest.
- Limit light and noise in the room where you sleep. We sleep best in quiet, dark spaces. Make your room conducive to sleep.
- Turn off screens 90 minutes before bed. Screens stimulate us and cause us to “forget the time.” We may decide to “check one thing” on our phone only to realize later that we “should have been asleep two hours ago.” Plus, the screen’s “blue light” interferes with our sleep. In fact, you might consider purchasing glasses with a “blue light filter” if your work demands you use a computer often. (Here is the enemy of teen sleep that may be the enemy of your sleep.)
- If you are unable to fall asleep after about 30 minutes, get up and go into another room. Engage in some activity that will not arouse or stimulate you. Return to your bed when you are ready to fall asleep.
- Take a warm bath or shower 90 minutes before bedtime. Studies suggest that a warm bath or shower helps people fall asleep quicker, sleep longer, and sleep more efficiently.
- If worries about tomorrow keep you awake, write out a to-do list. Research suggests that the more specific the list, the faster people fall asleep.
- Relax your body. Go through a progressive muscle relaxation routine. You can also focus on your breathing and relax.
- Spend some time in nature every day. People sleep better after enjoying nature.
- Exercise is also associated with better sleeping and sleep habits. Take time to exercise on a regular basis. It will help you sleep.
- Eat a healthy diet.