bedtime rituals

Bedtime Rituals and Sleeping Smarter as a Family


Bedtime Rituals are critical to the foundation of a good night sleep.  When it comes to our kids, they thrive on routines and rituals.  So why not have bedtime rituals to get them in the right mindset and to avoid bedtime chaos?

Bedtime Rituals Equals Success!

#nosleep, #workedallnight, #sleepdeprived, #itsanepidemic. Yep, you’ve heard this before; it’s almost a badge of honor anymore to say you worked 24 hours straight or need to chug 64 ounces of Mountain Dew or Monster to stay awake. Why do we celebrate sleep deprivation, when sleep is our body’s way of repairing itself so we can be our very best? In Shawn’s first episode of Sleep Smarter, he gave us simple tips to improve the quality of a night’s sleep: remove blue light, black out curtains, just to name two. But this time, Shawn goes a little deeper in identifying more specific ways to get the best sleep of our lives.

The Lion

Lions are cool. They are the kings of the jungle; noble and fearless. You know what lions don’t do? They don’t stand around the preverbal water cooler (if lions were in an office and had a water cooler-it’s an analogy. Stay with me here) and say, “Yeah Bill, I just killed two antelope after being up for 24 hours straight just prowling around.” You know why? Well, first, they’re lions and they wouldn’t have that conversation, and second, lions are only awake about four hours out of the day. Four hours. But, they are biologically programmed to sleep long hours so they can make those four waking hours incredibly effective.

Granted humans don’t require as much sleep as lions. But, in order to be fully functional and at our best our bodies do require an ample amount of sleep in order to repair. Sleep is as essential as oxygen, food and water to the health and well-being of our bodies. We need those 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Non-negotiable.  Bedtime rituals get our bodies and minds in the right state so we can ease into a healthier night sleep.

But I’m Good With 5 Hours

Really? You’re really bright-eyed and super bushy-tailed after a measly five hours of sleep? You wouldn’t be ok with 75% of your oxygen intake, so how is sleep any different? The truth is, without ample sleep, your body is not able to fully recover. When we sleep, our bodies are in an anabolic state (read: muscle building, tissue repair, hormone rebalancing). If we are sleep deprived, we age faster and our bodies are less likely to be able to completely repair themselves. So, what the heck do you do?

Create Routine

Shawn Stevenson shares a way we can get our kids and the whole family in the right mindset for bedtime.

In a culture that seems to value over working, it is hard to imagine placing value in something that is the complete opposite: rest. But, it’s that rest that will make us be better at work. So, take a cue from your work life, you schedule meetings, why not schedule a sleep routine? This routine, be it turning off electronic devices earlier, brushing your teeth, reading to the kids, or whatever, will start to signal your body to begin the sleep cycle. As this becomes habit, you will find yourself getting to sleep faster and your sleep will be of better quality.

Create Culture

In order to get everyone in your household on board with quality sleep, you have to create a culture where sleep is valued by everyone. This means, shutting off all devices earlier, getting everyone, kids and spouse, to buy into the routine of getting ready for bed and setting the example so that sleep becomes just as important as eating and breathing.

This is just the tip of the ice berg. There is so much more in this podcast to help you get your best night’s sleep, but these tips should get you started. In the mean time, maybe create a new cultural norm: #sleepsmarter.


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Thanks for checking out this week’s show on Bedtime Rituals.

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