Your sleep is absolutely essential for your health, so it’s important to protect. However, many times that’s easier said than done with distractions abounding at seemingly every turn, whether they come from work, family, or just life in general. But setting boundaries and maintaining good sleep habits is more important now than ever, as we all face some uncertainty with the current situation and many find restful sleep harder to come by. Here are our top tips for maintaining strong and consistent “sleep boundaries.”
Consider How Your Furry Friend May Impact Sleep
Be mindful of pets on the bed. We’ve published our analysis of a study about co-sleeping with pets (on the bed or in the bedroom).
The study found that sleeping with pets in the bedroom resulted in a sleep efficiency (total time spent asleep, not just lying in bed) of 83%, while sleeping with pets on the bed resulted in a sleep efficiency of 80%. While the study proved that co-sleeping with pets is not detrimental to sleep quality (most experts agree that 80% is a satisfactory sleep efficiency), for light sleepers or those already having trouble sleeping right now due to anxiety, it may be worthwhile to try keeping any pets out of the bedroom, or at least off the bed.
Get Everyone on the Same Page
If you live with a partner or your family, it’s important that everyone knows that sleep is a priority in the household.
Set consistent sleep/wake times for yourself and your family, and stick to them. Make sure that kids are aware of their personal sleep/wake schedules, and that they are aware of parents’ schedules, as well. Schedules should allow for enough sleep for the different age groups in your home. School-aged children (6-13 years) need 9-11 hours of sleep; teens (14-17 years) need 8-10 hours; young adults and adults need 7-9 hours; older adults (65+) need 7-8 hours, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Additionally, set parameters around technology usage before bed. All devices should be put away at least an hour before lights out. If you sleep with a partner in the same bed, it’s important to make sure that they are following this guideline, as well — your best efforts in storing away technology won’t be of much use if a partner is left tossing and turning due to blue light exposure.
Prioritizing sleep as a family unit will help ensure everyone in the home is getting the rest they need.
Exceptions to the Rule
Many people know someone they wouldn’t mind crossing their sleep boundary, namely their partner! If you share a bed with someone, feel free to snuggle up next to them. Cuddling releases the hormone oxytocin, making you calmer and better able to deal with stress, which is something we all need right now!
Still Feel Tired Every Day?
Of course, implementing strong sleep boundaries won’t really help if you’re dealing with a disorder like sleep apnea, which causes sufferers to experience pauses in breathing throughout the night, disrupting sleep quality. Learn more about the symptoms of sleep apnea here. If you think you or someone you love may have the condition, don’t wait— request a consultation today for an in-person or virtual appointment.