Sleep Routines For the Whole Family

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Are YOUR sleep routines and patterns compatible with those of your family members?

That is a question I never thought I’d ask myself, until I got married. And again, that is a question I never thought I’d ask myself again, until I had kids – one after the other! I have curious sleep habits indeed. I am one of five kids, and since I have always favored reading myself to sleep and then sleeping late, my parents gave me a large room at the end of the house – away from my siblings. Over time I grew into the deepest sleeper I know – until I met both of my kids who have me beat!

My husband is a light sleeper, and with the exception of some of the pregnancy/breastfeeding years – in which I was awake a lot during the night – he often tells tales of everything I missed while I was sleeping. Cat, dog, and kid hijinks galore!

The thing is, we are all on different schedules. That’s less than ideal, but sometimes there are few options. The big sister decides she has to go to bed later than her brother. The animals wake up hungrier sometimes. I will often work late into the night to catch up on everything I missed during a full day. My husband can get into a routine of waking up at 5:00am daily. I can barely get into a routine of waking up before 9:00am. The kids sometimes nap, but often don’t, until naps take them!

It’s more than that, too. Getting one good night of sleep helps ensure a better tomorrow. This grows. Getting ONE good night of sleep isn’t enough though – it’s about finding ways for you all to get good nights of sleep consistently. We have routines with the kids – like essential oils, bath time, family reading time, story telling, and even deep breathing. These are crucial ways to get our kids to sleep, and often us, too! However, then it requires getting up (yes, out of your kids’ beds), and either being able to go to sleep, or feeling like you need to still wind down from the day. If it’s about learning how to wind down and sleep better as a family, then it needs to start with YOU, or it needs to start with your partner and you.

And hopefully that’s where it ends every night. With sleep!

Here are sleep routine tips for your whole family, and also for use with your partner. Good sleep can be achieved TOGETHER with methods and products.

What’s amazing to me is the fact that one person’s routines and habits can affect an entire family’s sleep. Then there’s the less-surprising fact that one person’s breathing can affect others. That’s why I believe it’s important to work on sleep routines and solutions TOGETHER! No one should suffer from loss of sleep! It’s beneficial to work on it together.

How We Wind Down Together as a Family:

  1. Implement a bedtime (and even naptime) routine for the whole family. Every single one us needs a cue that it’s time to wind down and ready our bodies for a good night of sleep. Des and Scarlet generally love a snuggle – with a story or song. For the adults, it’s just as important to shut down all activities and focus on sleeping. Adults also benefit from warm baths, reading, stories, writing, etc. When we’re winding down the kids, I’m generally winding down myself, too!

  2. Set the environment. We all favor a mostly dark room and a white noise machine. I also love removing clutter from the kids’ bedroom and my own to make it easier to fall asleep. For some reason, the toys on the floor bother Des, too.

  3. Keep a schedule, as our bodies are regulated by circadian rhythms – our internal clocks. This “clock” tells our bodies when it’s time to sleep and time to be awake. Although these times vary based on our ages, sleep deprivation happens to many of us. Just as you would tuck your kids into bed a half hour early if you thought it might lead to daytime improvements, try the same for yourself! Keep a family sleeping schedule. Shut off screens about 60 minutes before bed for ALL of you.

  4. Be consistent. Stick to routines, environments, bedtimes, etc. Kids learn pretty fast how easily you’ll bend.

How to Match Your Sleep Routines With Your Partner:

We focus so much on children’s sleep, but I think it’s just as important or more important to focus on sleeping next to your partner! Chances are, you shared a bed with them before kids, and you do during the family years, and you will after the kids have moved out. I have allergies in the spring, and the fall and winter can give me congestion that affects my breathing patterns. Work and life changes can affect sleep, and stress is a big one. Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Room temperature is tough, isn’t it? Optimum sleep temps range from 68 – 72 degrees fahrenheit, but you can be on opposite sides of that range, or even out of that range, and that’s no fun! This requires compromise. Pick a temp between your two preferences. The one who likes it warmer can wear thicker pajamas or use an extra blanket. The one who likes it colder can sleep outside of the sheets. A bigger bed also helps!

  2. Have solutions already in place for kids (and pets) interrupting sleep. No one likes conflict in the middle of the night when we’re less equipped to deal with it, especially when parents have different ideas about what’s acceptable with co-sleeping, soothing bad dreams, middle of the night bathroom runs, etc. Middle of the night wake-ups can be unfortunate, but they should be a shared responsibility.

  3. Embrace your differences and find a way to meet in the middle. Do you go to bed at much different times? While that’s tricky, you can make compromises of being quiet for one another and to schedule time in bed for being with each other, even for talking! Do you have different light preferences? Eye masks can be beneficial! There are also special light bulbs that cut down on blue light. What about cuddling? I am more snuggly before bed and when I wake up, but I wake up spread out on the other side of the bed – which is just how I sleep. We can agree to cuddle before the first one falls asleep, or even schedule a 10-15 minute time for it. Does one of you like TV and not the other? Set a time for TV watching, or have one use a white noise machine or ear plugs. Battling over the blanket or tossing and turning? Have separate stacks of a top sheet, blanket and/or comforter. You can also consider a mattress that helps with bounce and motion – like a foam one.

  4. Use products that help! That’s why they’re there. Address issues and find resolutions.

One person’s nasal congestion/mouth breathing can affect the good night’s rest for others in the relationship! Breathe Right® Nasal Strips provide a variety of options for you. They are drug free, and are safe to use with any cold or sleep medications. You simply wash and dry your nose to remove dirts and oils, remove the liner and place the strip on the nose so that the tabs cover your nostrils where they flare, and then apply it by pressing down the ends and rubbing gently to secure. Then simply remove it in the AM after washing your face!

I bought them at Walmart, for the best value everyday. They were easy to find:

Breathe Right® Nasal Strips are for one time use only, and are a great way to help relieve nasal congestion fast. They have multiple uses, like colds, allergies, or mouth breathing. If you or your loved one suffers from nighttime nasal congestion, this is a drug-free and clinically proven way to instantly lift your nasal passage and open your nose to help you breathe better, and sleep better. I purchased Extra Tan, which has a strong adhesive. Check out the other varieties!

What are your sleep routines? How do they work with your family members? Make sure to get your Breathe Right $1 off coupon and free sample HERE.

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30 Comments

  1. Sleep routines are essential. I spent my twenties staying up late and pulling all-nighters (for studying mainly) and now, in midlife, my life feels wrecked if I don’t get my zzz’s.

    1. I used to go to bed at 3:00-4:00am and then sleep until 11 or 12! Like it was nothing! Daily.
      Boy, have things changed. My ears hurt if I don’t get enough sleep!

  2. I couldn’t agree about sleep routines and totally didn’t adhere to it last night though with Halloween with the kids going to bed a bit later with all the excitement and candy eating. But still, for the most part try to adhere to a schedule if nothing else. And thank you for the further tips and help here, too 🙂

    1. Yes, we had problems too! The kids were up way too late, but surprisingly Des didn’t eat any candy. How did he get away with that??? Falling asleep before he could! He remembered this morning..

  3. I don’t sleep well at all. I haven’t slept well in a while unless I take my Ambien. I also feel like I’m not breathing right when I go to bed so I wonder if these will work good for me. I may have to give them a try and see.

  4. I can’t get over how cute the pictures in this post are <3 I'm a bit of a light sleeper lately and I haven't been getting a good night's rest in months. Bryan is convinced it has everything to do with pillows, and I'm wondering if that's partially true in our case (though I'll never admit that out loud since I won the "who gets to pick the pillows" argument, lol).

    I'll have to look for these strips, thanks for sharing! And in answer to your other post–I have a nervous tummy too (for years! It sucks!) and your moose cookies are adorable 🙂

    1. hah, thanks! I seem to have a LOT of photos of everyone sleeping. How perfect is that??
      Pillows are important! When the cleaning lady switches ours accidentally, we always notice!!!
      The nervous stomach thing is rough. I always say, “My stomach is jacked.” But when I’m not nervous, it’s like nothing can stop it. No food allergies or intolerances or anything at all.

  5. Oh my goodness you chose some of the cutest pictures for this post. Our routine has been a little off lately because we’ve been watching the Cubs, so kids have been staying up a little later than usual. Tonight is the last night for that. EEEEKKKS!!
    xoxo

    1. I’m so happy you noticed! The photos here were much fun to take and dig up!
      I’m so happy about the Cubs!!!!! Now for the election to also wind up on my side…

    1. I fully agree! It’s funny how much effort we put into training or hoping for our kids to sleep well – for years – but don’t give ourselves that same effort!

  6. I totally agree with you about sleep! I think I’ve mentioned before the I wrote about sleep for client’s website and I’ve learned so much including the circadian rhythm. Nasal strips are really helpful too!

    My family has very different sleeping schedules. Most of the time, when Reiko wants me to sleep beside him, I take on his sleeping schedule. I want to keep a routine as much as possible too.

  7. I try to get Rich to use the breathe rie strips (he has a bad snoring problem), but he hates wearing them. I swear, I’m waiting for one child to move out – so I can give Rich his room:)!

    1. I used them when I was pregnant and I loved them then! My mom says my dad snores so loud that she goes and sleeps in my little sister’s old bedroom!

  8. Those photos! Especially that one of Cassidy and Athena is adorable! I just might need to try those nasal strips when my allergies hit. That’s when my sleep is disrupted the most.

  9. I was a huge believer in sleep routines when my boys were little, and we all slept pretty well, for a few years at least. And then they become teenagers and come home at weird times and it starts all over again. I love Breathe Right strips when I have a cold – because of my hbp problems, I can’t take cold medicine. But Breathe Right works wonderfully!

  10. Whenever we have colds Breathe Right strips are a necessity for a good night’s sleep. We just had colds last week and we’re using these. They help so much with stuffy noses.

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