(CNN) Development of better sleep habits is among the quickest, most effective ways to improve mental well-being for an individual or a family.
Here are a number of manageable ways to improve sleep rapidly in your home.
Leave the devices behind
Over the past several years, addiction to smartphones has become a common referral issue in therapy practices.
Addiction to smartphones can drive sleep difficulties, especially when phones are used later at night, according to a recent study of college students published in Frontiers in Psychiatry.
That’s why I encourage my clients to keep cellphones and other screens out of the bedroom altogether, substituting a book, meditation or calming music. Mindfulness exercises can also be helpful, even for children.
I find that this change alone improves sleep quickly, and symptoms of emotional difficulties tend to lift, to some extent, as well …
Develop good sleep hygiene together
I find that families tend to share sleep habits, that they tend to be fairly consistent, for better or worse, within a household. So, you can actually model good sleep for the rest of your family. If you would like to see your kids or spouse get better sleep, set a clear bedtime for them, and for yourself. Do the same for waking up.
Consistency will help you all develop healthy sleep habits rather quickly — and don’t get too discouraged if this change takes a little time. Just like it takes time to create poor sleep habits, it will take some time to develop healthier sleep hygiene.
Make gradual changes, like dialing back your bedtime 15 to 30 minutes a week. Over time, you’ll find you are getting the sleep you need without the frustration of forced, immediate change …
No time like the present
Many sleep issues become apparent at the onset of the school year. Since kids tend to start the academic year with poorly regulated sleep, scaling back bedtime in small increments can resolve sleep issues quickly … READ MORE.