Sleep Is Essential For The Whole Family. Here's How You Actua

Photo:Women's Health

As a stay-at-home mama with two children (we just welcomed our baby girl Olive in November and our oldest, Charlie, is 2½ years old), I can tell you that finding a rhythm isn’t easy. And while Charlie is adjusting well to the new addition to the family, which we’re very grateful for, it still hasn’t been the easiest time. Balancing two kids is very different from caring for just one!

Like most toddlers, Charlie is full of energy. Our days are filled with outdoor fun to keep him entertained and to make sure we get those wiggles out before it’s time for bed. It’s so important to me that I show up, stay present, and give my babies my best version of myself. And that’s why, since becoming a mother, my sleep, diet, fitness, and overall health have become top priorities. It’s not always easy while raising children (especially with a newborn), but I know that taking care of myself is an act of self-love and an act of love for my kids.

Why sleep is my No. 1 wellness priority.

Making sure my kids get quality sleep is crucial and helps ensure fewer tantrums. (Nobody likes a cranky toddler or mama!) With better sleep, I’m also a better mother, wife, and person in general. I have more patience and a stronger ability to laugh off stressful situations, which you encounter on a daily basis as a mom of two. Sleep helps me stay energized throughout the day—without relying on sugar and caffeine every few hours. And while we try not to obsess too much over routines and adopt a more "go with the flow" attitude, we DEFINITELY prioritize naps and bedtime. Naptime is not only a little mental break for me, but it’s also beneficial for Charlie. He seems to be more alert, less irritable, and overall much happier when well-rested.

My family-wide action plan for daylight saving time.

I’ve made sure to prioritize quality sleep since I know it’s a huge factor in keeping my family healthy, happy, and on track. In fact, I even have a whole nighttime routine developed down to the minute, complete with bath time, story time, and dim lighting. Knowing this, you won’t be surprised to learn that when daylight saving time rolls around, I like to develop a way to help us all adjust.

You see, our bodies have a biological rhythm that helps us wake up in the morning and take on the day and then unwind in the evening by releasing the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps us fall asleep without a hitch. Unfortunately, even losing one hour of sleep can be incredibly disruptive to the whole family’s biological clock and can really throw off our routine. I don’t know about you, but I need all the alertness and energy I can get! One thing I like to do is gradually shift bedtime by 15-minute increments leading up to an hour, so it’s not such a drastic change. Also, sticking to our pre-bed routine of dinner, bath, story time, quiet atmosphere, and dim lighting is super helpful since it keeps the body on schedule.

The supplement that helps me get high-quality rest, no matter what.

I’ve got my kids’ nighttime routine down to a science, but when it comes to my own sleep, things can be a little more hectic. Everyday stressors and a busy schedule can take a toll on your body’s melatonin production, and I can find it hard to wind down at night. Luckily, we were recently introduced to Natrol® Melatonin, a drug-free and non-habit-forming solution to feeling well-rested and refreshed. And while melatonin isn’t for kids, it has really helped me fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, which is great for those nights when my brain just won’t shut off! It helps to establish better sleep patterns and a healthy sleep-wake cycle—which is especially important when daylight saving time rolls around. In other words: Melatonin can help you fall asleep when you want to sleep and reset your body’s clock to adjust to the time change. Natrol is 100 percent vegetarian and comes in a fast-dissolve tablet with a great strawberry flavor; you don’t even need water—so it’s perfect for when I’m on the go!

As a mother, now more than ever, I need good-quality sleep—for health and better performance. And Natrol is just what busy mamas need to take on all of life’s exciting adventures. Remember, whether you’re a parent or not, getting seven or more hours of sleep is nonnegotiable!

Frank Lipman, M.D.

Sleep Is Essential For The Whole Family. Here's How You Actua
Frank Lipman, M.D.

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