How to Prioritize Rest for the Whole Family

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Parenting is a journey filled with joy, challenges, and countless sleepless nights. However, prolonged sleep deprivation can take a lot of that joy away, and cause health issues. That’s why it’s important to prioritize sleep and have healthy habits for the whole family. Read on to find out how!

The Importance of Sleep

Quality sleep isn’t merely a luxury but a fundamental pillar of overall health and wellness. Founder and Lead Sleep Expert at Good Night Sleep Site, Alanna McGinn, explains, “Sleep deprivation affects many things. It affects our cognitive abilities, mood and temperament, immune system, and motor skills. When we’re dealing with a new parent, especially a mom who is running on a sleep debt and experiencing sleep deprivation because they have a child who isn’t sleeping, our main concern with that mom is the temperament.”

Establishing Sleep Routines

McGinn went on to say, “If parents could just get the normal amount of sleep every night, they wouldn’t need more sleep than the average adult. A new parent can’t get the appropriate amount of each night that an average adult, but realistically, it’s just not going to happen, and that’s okay. That’s what I try to tell new parents: you need to take the pressure off. It’s normal to lose some sleep when you first have a child, but you don’t need to lose that sleep for the next five years. That’s what is not normal. That’s where I come in, but in the beginning, you can’t expect to sleep well. There’s nothing you can do about that.” McGinn suggests establishing a clear nighttime routine and being consistent about it. For example, reading at a certain hour, or dimming the lights at a specific time, to let the family know it’s almost time for bed.

Creating the Right Enviornment

Creating an optimal sleep environment is essential for fostering restful sleep and minimizing sleep disturbances. McGinn explains, “Our sleep environment is an amazing tool that we can utilize and one that often gets overlooked to help us sleep better. For adults, really focus on creating that sleep sanctuary, protecting the bedroom for sleep only, and creating whatever kind of calming and relaxing environment works for you. Think about colors on the wall, colors, and patterns in your bedding. Focus on your five senses; what are you seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling? Work to make a relaxing environment and protect the space for sleep only.”

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

She went on to suggest that non-sleep-related activities such as working or exercising shouldn’t be done in the bedroom. McGinn also recommends investing in quality mattresses and pillows.

6 Best Kids’ Shows Parents Will Enjoy Too

Children of today watch more TV than their parents did at that age. So, instead of making this a regular parenting headache, why not turn it into an enjoyable co-viewing practice with your kids? Here are a few kid-focused shows that are enjoyable for grown-ups too.

Bluey (for 4+, on Disney+)

Australian preschool series Bluey was once hailed as “the best kids’ show of the time.” Interestingly, it manages to be just as entertaining for adults too. The story follows a family of Aussie pups, dad Bandit, mom Chilli, and daughters Bluey and Bingo, as they play imaginative games together. Only seven minutes long, each episode is packed with silly and sweet moments.

The Loud House (for 8+, on Paramount+)

The Loud House is a fun commentary on big family dynamics. With his nine other siblings, Lincoln lives in a “loud” house, and Loud is also his family surname! Each episode follows Lincoln Loud’s journey as he struggles to get by, trying to find himself and fit in with his large family.

Star Wars: Rebels (for 8+, on Disney+)

This show is for the fans of Star Wars, old or young! Taking place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Star Wars: Rebels follows the story of Ezra Bridger, an orphan citizen of the planet Lothal. The series features amazing characters, story arcs, battles, and relationships. It’s an exciting show for both young kids and grown-ups.

The Magic School Bus Rides Again (for 5+, on Netflix)

The ’90s generation undoubtedly remembers the excitement of watching The Magic School Bus with Miss Frizzle’s memorable science lessons. Now, Netflix has rebooted the beloved show for those parents’ kids with the name The Magic School Bus Rides Again. One major perk here is that Ms. Frizzle, the younger sister of the original teacher, is voiced by Saturday Night Live-famed Kate McKinnon.

The Owl House (for 8+, on Disney+)

The Owl House is a Common Sense Selection show with beautifully detailed plotlines and character developments. The story centers on a human girl named Luz Noceda, who accidentally stumbles upon the “Demon Realm” and creates an unlikely friendship with the rebellious Eda Clawthorne. The show embraces all things magical, mythical, weird, and wacky, yet remains very relatable.

Ask the StoryBots (For Ages 3+, Available on Netflix)

Ask the StoryBots is a humorous and highly-rated educational series enjoyable for both young children and their parents. In each episode, the characters seek to answer a question by a real kid, like “Why is the sky blue?” Making it more engaging and interesting, the show includes music videos, catchy songs, and even celebrity cameos!