The phrase “consistency is key” is something we hear many times. Whether applied to mindfulness exercises or trying a new parenting approach, consistency provides the necessary rhythm for creating and maintaining a healthy new habit.
Despite its massive influence over our mental and physical wellbeing, sleep is an area that many people struggle to apply consistency.
Why Consistency Is The Key To A Healthy Sleep Routine
As a parent, you’re responsible for the task of ensuring both your own and your child’s sleeping habits are healthy. This is why you must stick to a routine.
If you crave a more profound, more fulfilling overnight rest for yourself and your family, here’s how consistency can help you get there.
Just Sleep Is Not Enough
Many people believe that as long as they get one or two good nights of sleep in a week, they’ll curb fatigue in the long run. However, sleeping different hours every night will only confuse your body clock and prevent deep, restorative rest from occurring at the correct times.
Our bodies naturally aim for consistency in sleep. By creating a routine, your body better understands when to transition from one sleep phase to the next. Each of which is important in its ways for keeping you strong and healthy.
Sleeping well once or twice a week is not enough. Your body craves a pace to follow so that it knows exactly how to time the release of essential sleep chemicals and hormones.
Without an overarching structure, your body clock may fall out of sync. This can cause unpleasant side effects like daytime drowsiness, irritability, mood swings, and low immunity.
The Circadian Rhythm
Your circadian rhythm is a biologically built-in body clock that naturally tracks your waking and sleeping hours. It’s responsible for releasing all types of essential hormones and chemicals, from melatonin to serotonin.
By regulating all the processes that your body undergoes in a typical 24-hour day, your circadian rhythm starts to build up an idea of how you operate. It also determines what you need to be the healthiest, strongest, and most rested version of yourself.
Consistency and routine is the best way to support your circadian rhythm. In turn, it aims to support you by keeping you sharp and energized during the day and comfortably relaxed and sleepy at night-time.
What Does A Consistent Sleep Schedule Do For Your Body?
Consistency is the secret ingredient for a healthy individual’s essential habits and functions. We crave the structure that comes with consistency because it allows us to anticipate the future better and plan our lives more efficiently.
Creating a personalized sleep schedule for you or your child can help form lasting routines that support the circadian rhythm. This can benefit the body and mind in several ways:
- Better digestion and regularity;
- Improved mood;
- Higher concentration levels;
- Heightened memory and focus; and
- Stronger immunity.
Sleep connects to so many other integral bodily functions that we need to fight against illness, maintain optimal physical strength, and navigate mental challenges.
Several critical chemical and hormonal processes occur during the 7+ hours of sleep that adults need every night. Without proper rest, none of them can be sufficiently activated. Some of these vital processes include:
- Cortisone (the stress hormone) levels are reduced, alleviating stress
- Inflammation-fighting cytokines are released, reducing physical inflammation
- HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is released, aiding tissue repair and bone strength
Without proper rest, none of these essential chemicals and hormones are released in the correct quantity, and the body will struggle to fill the gaps.
How To Apply More Consistency To Your Sleep Routine
Fortunately, there are many simple ways to implement a naturally consistent sleep routine for yourself and your family.
The key here is consistency paired with commitment. Together, they’ll help you sustainably reach your sleep goals.
Create A Routine
Determine an exact bedtime and stick to it every night. Make sure you have at least an hour to 45 minutes before that time to wind down. Use that time for reading, journaling, bathing, or simply relaxing, either alone or with your loved ones.
The last thing your body needs before bed is to get hyped up. Reduce screen time well before it’s time for you to go to sleep. TV and smartphone screens are incredibly bright and can cause your adrenaline levels to spike. Please do your best to avoid them at night.
If you struggle to relax in the evenings, tweak your environment until it suits your preferences. Buy yourself a plush new duvet or weighted blanket, light some scented candles and make sure your favorite pajamas are always clean and ready for you to jump into after a gentle evening shower.
Maintain Your Routine All Week
When the weekend rolls around, it’s tempting to sleep in. Resist the temptation as far as possible and stick to your usual weekly schedule. If you sleep a few extra hours, you’ll throw off your routine and won’t feel tired at your regular bedtime.
Be Consistent, Stay Consistent
Consistency is at the heart of developing a healthy new sleeping pattern. Don’t feel discouraged if it takes you a while to adjust. Creating a new habit can be challenging, but the results are more than worth it.
Find Healing And Restoration Through Sleep Consistency
You probably don’t need us to tell you how important sleep is. You know it, your body knows it, and even though it might not always seem like it, your children know it too. Sleep is a fundamental part of human health, and your body wants you to be strong.
By sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, you can rest assured that you’re doing your part to support your body and future self in the best way possible. With enough patience and perseverance, anyone can redefine their relationship with rest.