Sleep is so important, for busy parents and for growing kids. I'm sure you have heard this before, but it's when children are sleeping that their bodies actually grow, and I don't know much, but I do know that I have a kid who barely slept for her first 2 years, and also was really tiny, so it appears to be true, to me. I'm sure no matter what size our kids are, all moms out there would love to know how they can start sleeping better, and helping their kids sleep better too. Here are some tips I've dug up from my 2 sleepless years of research:
1) Exercise! Tiring your bodies out helps them relax, strangely. I even see it in my puppy: when she's had a full day of fun and running around, she sleeps like a baby (or like a baby should sleep!)
2) Wind down before bed: create a simple, easy routine for yourselves that can involve brushing teeth and washing up, singing a song or listening to music, reading books or just talking about your favorite parts of the day together before going to sleep. Thinking calming thoughts, hearing soothing music and talking quietly about pleasant memories can help calm your minds and relax you all around, so you all sleep better. (Ghost stories, chaos and loud or active play right before bed are best avoided).
3) Unplug: Apparently, it's best to have at least 60-90 minutes "screen free" before bed, so turn off those TV's and video games and other electronic readers and devices to get the best sleep you can.
4) Don't eat or drink (other than water) at least 2 hours before bed. Your metabolism has to work to digest and process foods or caffeinated, alcoholic or sugary drinks, and therefore cannot sleep as well. Try changing your mealtime and / or bedtime schedules a bit so that you have time to fully digest before going to sleep.
5) Invest in rest: Because sleep is so important, it's not a bad idea to invest in your own rest and health by splurging on a seriously comfortable bed, and making sure your pillows, sheets and blankets are the right thickness and softness for your optimal temperature and comfort. We got a really comfortable mattress years ago and it instantly changed how much sleep we got (so much more) and how well we sleep (so much better, until our kid was born, ha!)
What has helped you sleep better?