Sweet Dreams: Stress-Free Nighttime Routines for Busy Parents

Apr 22, 2024 | Parenting, Routines

Let’s talk about the golden ticket to peace for moms and dads everywhere: bedtime routines. The struggle is real–some nights it feels less like a cozy time to wind down and more like a scene from Mission Impossible. As a busy mom myself, I know how hectic life can be and the idea of finding any peace amidst the chaos of daily life can feel like an unattainable goal. However, establishing a nighttime routine can be a game-changer in creating a sense of calm and order at home. Here are some simple strategies to help you design a nighttime routine that works for you and your family:

  1. Set a Consistent Bedtime: Start by determining an appropriate bedtime for both yourself and your children. Consistency is key here, as it helps regulate your body’s internal clock and ensures everyone gets the rest they need.
  2. Limit Screen Time: The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep. As tempting as it may be to indulge in one last scroll through social media, resist the urge! At least one hour before bed, opt for screen-free activities that promote relaxation and connection. Remember, the real-life moments are far more entertaining than anything on a screen!
  3. Routine, Routine, Routine: Consistency is critical! Establish a predictable sequence of activities leading up to bedtime. Whether it’s brushing teeth, reading a story, or a calming bath, stick to the script! Before long, your nighttime routine will become second nature and you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.
  4. Create a Relaxing Environment: Make the bedrooms in your home a sanctuary for sleep by keeping them cool, dimly lit, and clutter-free. Consider using calming scents (I personally love lavender) or soothing music to help you relax before bed.
  5. Three Stars and a Wish: I love asking my boys to tell me three things that went great during the day and one thing they wished had gone differently. This always gives me an extra chance to hear more about their day or to find out things that are on their minds. Focusing on at least three positive things also helps my kids’ mindsets on days that didn’t go as planned.
  6. Self-Care isn’t Selfish:  You can’t pour from an empty cup, so take time to recharge and rejuvenate. Make time for yourself before bed to engage in self-care activities that help you unwind and de-stress. Whether it’s a bubble bath, a good book or enjoying a cup of tea (or a glass of wine), prioritize activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Investing in yourself is the ultimate act of love for your family.
  7. Plan for Tomorrow: Spend a few minutes before bed planning out the next day. This can help alleviate anxiety and ensure you’re prepared for whatever the day may bring. I know I’m not the only one whose mind wanders about everything as soon as my head hits the pillow. I keep a journal next to my bed to write down things I am worried about-or don’t want to forget-in an effort to quiet my racing thoughts and fall asleep faster. Try this-it works!

Remember, nighttime routines aren’t just about getting your kids to fall asleep as fast as possible (although sometimes that would be nice); they are also about creating moments of connection. Stay patient and keep a sense of humor–laughter has the magical ability to dissolve tension and bring joy to even the most chaotic evenings. Sometimes even the best-laid plans go awry so keep in mind that flexibility is the secret weapon of every successful parent! Cheers to peaceful nights and sweet dreams!  

Connect with me for personalized help with your nighttime routine!