If you have kids, you probably can’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep. It’s difficult to carve out time for sleep as a working adult—even more so when you put children in the picture. However, sleep is essential to progress, so it’s important to prioritize it.
Just getting one more hour of sleep a night can help improve your memory, focus, and energy according to Prof. Michael Chee, Asia’s leading sleep scientist. Just one more hour of sleep per night reduces your risk of weight gain and diabetes and improves your immunity and regulation of blood pressure. It does wonders for your stress level and helps you stay calm, positive, and friendly.
Creating a bedtime routine for your kids is a start, but the key is to develop habits for the whole family from the moment each day begins. Here are five habits throughout the day the whole family should develop to get healthier, longer, better sleep.
- Set boundaries and make the bedroom a sleep sanctuary. It may be tempting to work on your laptop or help the kids with their homework in the bedroom, but it’s best to reserve the bedroom for rest and sleep. For work and studies, set up camp elsewhere in your home, like the living room or dining area. This helps your mind recognize that when you’re in the bedroom, it’s time to rest and sleep, making it easier and faster to get some shut-eye. If you have limited space, you can make the bed your sleep sanctuary and set up a desk or working space elsewhere in the bedroom.
- Work out in the morning. The adrenaline rush is great for conquering the day, but it might get in the way of good sleep if you exercise at night. Schedule your workouts first thing in the morning, so that you’re more motivated to have an early night, which is what football player David Beckham does. When you schedule workouts in the morning—ideally before the kids get up—you’re also more likely to push through with it rather than at the end of the day when you have decision fatigue.
- Split household chores among family members. At night, do you find yourself staying up to prepare the kids’ baon, wash the dishes, or fold the laundry? Make it easier on yourself by delegating household chores to the rest of the family, even your children. Kids of certain ages can handle small tasks like washing the dishes and preparing sandwiches for baon, while toddlers can tidy up their toys and assist their older siblings. Convince kids to help by making a game out of it or creating a points system that can earn them special treats.
Not only does delegating chores help parents with their load and get more time to sleep, it also teaches kids the value of responsibility. Plus, it channels your kids’ boundless energy towards productive tasks, making bedtime easier on the whole family.
- Eat dinner at the right time. It’s best to have a balanced meal two to three hours before bed to give you enough time to digest the food. Avoid heavy or creamy meals, sugary drinks, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime, according to renowned chef, Jeremy Pang. To ease digestion, focus on a healthy mix of protein, vegetables, and starch.
- Set no-screen time at least two hours before bed. Applying to both parents and kids, this can be the start of your bedtime routine. Prepare your mind for sleep by leaving all devices outside the bedroom at least two hours before bedtime, according to Prof. Chee. Use this time to get everyone washed and ready for bed, read the kids a bedtime story or two, and spend quality time with your partner. For a more restful night, light a scented candle or use lavender spray, just like Korean football player, Son Heung-min. Prof. Chee also recommends going to bed at the same time every night for best results.
Think of healthier, longer, better sleep as an essential tool for your family’s progress. To motivate you and your family, check out the suite of protection solutions under BPI AIA's Wellness Series, powered by AIA Vitality.
As a AIA Vitality member, you can earn five (5) AIA Vitality Points when you sleep for a minimum of seven (7) hours within a day. This in turn can be one of your motivations to take that power sleep as soon as you can. By continuously improving your sleeping habits, you can reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits, while earning points that you can exchange for exclusive rewards!
Find out more about how BPI AIA's Wellness Series and AIA Vitality can help you live a healthier, longer, better life by visiting one of the 900 BPI branches across the country.