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6 Sleep Habits Every Family Should Follow

By: , – Michele Bender, Family Circle
1/14/2014 6:00 AM   :  3 comments   :  5,276 Views

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Studies have shown that sleep helps you lose weight, improves your energy and even decreases your risk of heart disease. Follow these six steps for better shut eye this year.
 
Step 1: Prep for bed

Nightly routines aren't just for infants. They're essential for all ages. "Start a ritual about 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime to prepare the body for sleep," says Robert Oexman, D.C., director of the Sleep to Live Institute in Joplin, Missouri. It could include a hot bath (which decreases your core body temperature) or a cup of herbal tea. 
 
Step 2: Get your own top sheets and blankets

"Using separate ones can make up for different temperature needs you and your partner may have," says Dr. Oexman. Added bonus: You won't wake up when he steals the blanket.
 
Step 3: Stay in the dark

If you wake up in the middle of the night, don’t check your email or text messages—no matter how tempting. When your kids must have a night-light, use a low blue one. "These eliminate the blue wavelength of light that negatively impacts melatonin production," says Dr. Oexman.
 
Step 4: Lower the thermostat

About 68 degrees is ideal for catching 40 winks because it causes a decrease in your core body temp. If you get cold, covering up is okay. "It's exposing your head to cold air that naturally decreases your core body temperature," says Dr. Oexman.
 
Click here for more advice on how to get more rest from Family Circle.
 
More from Family Circle:
  
What helps you get a better night's sleep?
 


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