Make Sleep an Important Family Value

Posted 08/27/2014 | By HealthCorps

A new University of Illinois study suggests that sleep quality and duration should be an important family focus. The study says that more parental sleep is related to more child sleep, which is in turn related to a lower risk of childhood obesity.

Sleep routines affect the whole family and it’s certainly true that if kids aren’t sleeping well, then parents aren’t sleeping well. Aside from the fatigue and cloudiness that lack of sleep can cause, current research shows that parents and kids will also tend to weight gain, if they’re not sleeping well.  Restorative sleep may also help to regulate and maintain our metabolism. Some experts suspect that regular, adequate sleep may be one of the protective factors that prevents excessive weight gain

Experts recommend starting a calming routine for the whole family. That includes “unplugging” from TV, video games and computers at a certain time interval before bedtime. Don’t eat or exercise too close to bedtime.   Avoid caffeine past three or four p.m. A hot bath or shower may relax you or the kids before bedtime.  Make sure bedrooms are cool and dark. Quiet reading before bedtime may also help parents and children to begin to feel drowsy, an important prelude to quality sleep.

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