Secret to Family Happiness – How Sleep Can Strengthen Your Relationships

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The Institute of Medicine estimates that 50 million to 70 million adults in the U.S. have chronic sleep disorders, and a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 35 percent of people reported averaging fewer than seven hours of sleep per night.

I’m excited to have teamed up with Sleep Number® to get you the facts about the amazing benefits of sleep. Chronic sleep issues can be devastating. The brain needs optimal sleep, at least 8 hours a day to function properly during waking hours. Being a parent in itself requires sharp thinking and sensitive responses when raising young kids. Our immune systems and brain function depends on sleep so that we can concentrate to avoid dangerous or careless mishaps. Are you sleep deprived? If so, you may be seriously affecting the relationship between you and your family members. Parents need to put sleep at the top of everyone’s priority list, because lack of it can cause problems. Kids need parents who are alert and not tired. If you’re groggy or sleep deprived, you are short-changing your kids.

Sleep is crucial to children’s development as well. Children who don’t get enough sleep can even be misdiagnosed with ADHD because they are so sleep deprived. Kids who don’t sleep well are typically more agitated and irritable during the day. But in reality, many of us parents don’t know just how well our kids are sleeping. It is essential to be sure all members of the family are sleeping well and getting in at least 8 hours a night.


What about your significant other? Don’t they deserve a sweet and kind interaction with you? You know what it’s like to be tired and then have to rise to the occasion of being cordial on very little sleep…it’s just awful. Believe it or not, getting regular and high quality sleep can enhance your relationship with others. Being present for the ones you love is the cornerstone of a healthy bond.

When we’re tired, we rush through important tasks and key moments in life, missing the essence of them completely. Do yourself a favor and put sleep first!

Why sufficient sleep is essential for good mental health:

• It’s your brain’s main restoration system so you have enough energy to function during the day
• It makes you more patient
• It allows you to listen better
• It helps you navigate your day with focus and clarity
• It allows you to slow down and bond with others
• It increases your memory capacity so you can recall important tasks and carry them out
• It allows you to focus on your feelings and express your emotions clearly
• It facilitates responding instead of reacting
• It enhances emotional intelligence by increasing empathy for others
• It allows endorphin release so you can feel refreshed and energized
• It makes room for hope and love to enter your life because your mood is pleasant

What happens to my relationships if I don’t get enough sleep?

• Your heart and vascular system may suffer
• Your body will be under unnecessary stress
• Stress causes your body to release hormones that play a role in heart disease
• Your irritability will turn others off from wanting to be with you
• You’ll find your patience is constantly tested
• You may be short fused and operating on heightened anger
• Your ability to connect with others will be negatively effected
• It will be difficult to show love wholeheartedly if you’re running on empty

So what now… Just how much sleep does my family need?

A healthy person needs an average of roughly 8 hours a night. But sleep needs vary from person to person. Some people appear to need only about 7 hours to avoid problem sleepiness, whereas others need 9 or more hours of sleep. Sleep needs also change throughout the life cycle. Babies sleep between 16 and 18 hours a day, and toddlers and preschoolers sleep between 11 and 12 hours a day. School-aged children and adolescents need at least 10 hours of sleep each night. Don’t underestimate the importance of a nap! The best time to nap is mid day and for short periods, like 20 minutes at a time.

Wind down and be sure your bed is helping you fall asleep.

Having a comfortable mattress and pillow can help promote a good night’s sleep. You also sleep better if the temperature in your bedroom is kept on the cool side (roughly 68 degrees). It’s no secret that great sleep starts with your mattress. Picking a mattress is a big deal. It’s like shopping for a car, you need to take your time to be sure you’re buying the right one for your personal needs. The better the mattress is, the better you’ll sleep! Sleep Number® beds are the key differentiator for great sleep. They adjust on both sides to you and your partner’s ideal firmness or softness, so neither of you have to sacrifice on your perfect level of comfort. My husband has his Sleep Number® setting at 90 and my Sleep Number setting is 55. I must say they are the perfect beds for couples! I love that we can customize our sleep options each night! Sleep Number beds continually adjust to you and your sleep needs so you don’t have to worry if your bed is causing you discomfort or contributing to other sleep issues.

If we are a people who value good relationships and kindness to others, we should be putting sleep at the top of our priority list. A good night’s sleep will help you feel refreshed and invigorated – and ready to be the real, optimal you. What are you waiting for? Shouldn’t you be napping now?

This post was sponsored in part by Sleep Number®.