Add more exercise to your day
Want to get your kids to bed at night without a struggle? Try a post-dinner walk. Or bike. Or skate. You get the idea. “Exercise improves sleep as effectively as benzodiazepines in some studies,” reports Kalyanakrishnan Ramakrishnan, MD, an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. On average it reduces the time it takes to get to sleep by 12 minutes, and it increases total sleep time by 42 minutes. Sneaking more activity into your family’s day is a great way to achieve better overall health and is a habit that can continue throughout the school year—just try to wrap up any exercise at least three hours before bed so that everyone has adequate time to wind down.