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Sleep Routine

How to Go from Night Owl to Early Bird

Ready to trade your midnight-loving ways for early-morning sunshine? Here’s how to smooth the transition. Thanks to circadian rhythm, your body feels more awake or asleep at different points of the day. It’s a naturally occurring phenomenon, and not everyone’s rhythm is the same—some people are full of pep at 7:00 AM (those would be the early birds) while others are most energized at 11:00 PM (night owls). But what if you want to switch from one to the other? Maybe your new job has early hours or your kids have before-school sports practice. Turning yourself from a night owl to early bird requires altering your circadian rhythm, which is doable with these…

Why Parents Should Reframe “Me Time”

Kids in bed? Here’s how to enjoy a relaxing evening without sacrificing your own sleep. For many parents, days are a blur of making meals and managing messes, negotiating nap times and bedtimes, and often working outside of the home, too. So it isn’t surprising that when the house finally falls silent of little footsteps for the night, parents are more than ready for some adult relaxation time. The problem is that “me time” can translate into habits that keep you up too late or negatively impact sleep once you do turn out the lights. That can quickly lead to next-day fatigue: hardly what any overworked parent needs. Furthermore, just as irregular or late bedtimes can…

Nature or Nurture: Which Determines How Well Your Baby Sleeps?

Certain sleep tendencies are hereditary, but environment also plays an important role. Discover the factors that influence your baby’s sleep habits. The nature vs. nurture debate has long fascinated researchers when it comes to how babies develop. Are certain behaviors the result of how a child is raised (the “nurture” part of the equation) or are they determined purely by genetics (the “nature” side)? Usually, the answer is not one or the other but a combination of both. Sleep, one of the earliest and most instinctive infant behaviors, is no exception. Experts have found that genetics play a role in the duration of nighttime shut-eye, how long babies nap during the day, and how often…

The New Parents Guide to Getting More Sleep

Life with a newborn is as exhausting as it is exciting. Use this advice to make the most of your limited sleep schedule. Most parents of infants—68 percent, to be exact—get less sleep than they need, according to a National Sleep Foundation survey. Between feedings, changings, rocking, and otherwise engaging a newborn, having a baby leaves new parents feeling like there’s little time to take care of their own needs. Fortunately, finding time for sleep does get easier as babies get older. In the meantime, these three strategies can help parents figure out how to squeeze in the rest they need. Step 1: Sleep When Baby Sleeps A new born isn’t going to adjust his or…

The Best Sleep Schedule for Babies: 6-9 months

As babies grow and change, so does their sleep schedule. Learn what your child needs now in order to thrive. Infants from 6-9 months sleep about 12 hours per night, plus naps. Parents may start consolidating three daytime naps into two. Babies often wake up during the night at this age. Reaching the half-year mark is a milestone for both parents and babies. Infants between six and nine months are learning to sit up and crawl; they are also teething and probably going through a growth spurt. And of course, they continue to absorb the world around them, looking to parents for guidance and nurturing. Along with all the new experiences, an infant’s sleep pattern…

The Best Sleep Schedule for Babies: 0-3 months

Help your newborn stay well rested with this routine for infants up to three months old. From birth until three months, babies sleep around 14 to 17 hours per day. Newborns typically stay awake for two to three hours at a time. Parents should focus on putting a newborn to bed while drowsy (but awake) and establishing a routine that teaches the difference between night and day. After months of planning, excitement, and anticipation, the newest addition to your family is finally here. Congratulations! Now comes the challenge — trying to understand your newborn’s sleep needs, because an effective sleep routine is the key for both baby and parents to recharge their batteries for…

How to Fall Asleep in 30 Minutes or Less

Stop staring at the ceiling and start dozing off faster with these simple strategies. For people who struggle to fall asleep, that whole “as soon as your head hits the pillow” description sounds mighty appealing. But not only is instant sleep not realistic, it’s quite possibly not healthy: Drifting off within seconds of getting under the blankets is likely a sign that you’re sleep deprived. Still, there’s a limit to how long it should take between climbing under the covers and dozing off. The normal amount of time it takes to fall asleep is about 10 to 20 minutes; if you frequently find yourself staring at the ceiling for a good deal longer than that,…

Debunking Sleep Myths: Can Counting Sheep Really Help You Fall Asleep?

Despite the popularity of this folk advice, sometimes counting sheep may do more to keep you awake than lull you to sleep. Learn the better way to think yourself to sleep. A warm bath, a glass of milk. a good book, and counting sheep: These are the classic recommendations for fixing a case of nighttime tossing and turning, passed down from one generation to the next. But the question is, do they really work? When it comes to tallying up barnyard animals, there’s room for debate. Sleep-Deprived Nation Of course, people will try just about anything if they’re having trouble falling asleep—and that’s a lot of people. Roughly 30 percent of adults experience interrupted sleep. What’s more,…

How To Sleep With A Snorer

Does your partner keep you awake all night with noisy breathing? These tips may help you get a better night’s rest. You set your bedroom thermostat to the perfect cool temperature, put fresh linens on your bed, and turned off all your electronics an hour ago. But for many people, there’s one thing about their sleep environment that they can’t control: the noise of a partner’s snoring. If this sounds like your situation and your sleep quality is suffering because of it, these tips may help you get the rest you need. Change Your Pillows Thanks to congested nasal passages, allergy sufferers are more likely to snore. Pillows, which collect dust and aren’t washed as often…

How to Overcome 3 Common Sleep-Related Mistakes

Getting enough sleep at night certainly isn’t easy—but it’s not impossible, either. Fixing the following five common mistakes will help you get on the track to better zzz’s. Mistake #1 That afternoon coffee break Some 78 percent of Americans consume caffeine on the regular. And sipping coffee or tea with your breakfast can be a great way to feel more alert as you begin to tackle your to-do list. But another cup later in the afternoon—or worse yet, after dinner—can have serious, negative effects on your sleep, making it harder to drift off. In fact, having caffeine six hours before turning in could cost you an hour of sleep. In other words, having an afternoon coffee might…