5 Easy Sleep Resolutions To Try In 2018
There are many factors that can affect your sleep patterns and the quality of your sleep, especially over the Christmas period. With plenty of festive food and drinks on the menu, you might be feeling a little sluggish. Or it could be that you’re still stressed out from last minute rushing around and unable to wind down? Maybe it’s all those Christmas movies you’ve been watching on TV? Or the countless hours you’ve spent liking and sharing on social media?
Whatever the reason, a New Year is on the horizon, so we’re challenging you to make 2018 your best sleep year yet. Here are five New Year sleep resolutions you can set yourself.
Prepare your sleep haven
Your bedroom plays a really important role in the quality of sleep you get. If you’re feeling exhausted after a long day, walking into a messy bedroom that’s not conducive to relaxing won't exactly help. Take a look around your room and de-clutter it by removing anything that doesn't need to be there (yes, the furry friends, real or pretend, can definitely go).
Next, it may seem like an obvious question, but is your bed comfortable? If you tend to lie on one side of the bed, or you and your partner are very different in size, it can cause your mattress to wear unevenly. Make sure you rotate your mattress every three months, try a mattress topper – or buy a new one altogether.
Choose natural fabrics for the bed linen like Egyptian Cotton. It will give you a fresh feeling each time you go to bed and the cool, luxurious, touch will soothe you into a more comfortable sleep. You can find out more tips on adapting your sleeping environment to improve your sleep quality in our blog here.
Set a new bedtime
If you're not getting enough sleep, the answer is simple - go to bed earlier! Your body needs to recharge overnight and, according to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours to be at their best. Sleep any less than this and your productivity levels and powers of concentration will hit rock bottom the next day.
Try to get into a good bedtime habit by gradually adjusting your sleep time. Go to bed fifteen minutes earlier, then thirty, then an hour earlier, over the course of a week or so. Gauge how you feel each morning and you’ll soon realise exactly how much sleep you need to feel at your best. Then it’s just a matter of sticking to your new bedtime.
Ditch the electronics
It’s a well-known fact that electronic devices can affect your circadian rhythms. The blue light emitted by your smartphone, tablet or computer is really a sleep-stealing culprit. Not only does it supress the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle, it also stimulates your brain and shifts your sleep pattern. That means you will find it difficult to sleep, even though you’re in bed.
If you absolutely must have your phone in the bedroom, switch on the “Night Shift” function to dim down the screen and make the colours more yellow. Place the screen face downward so you won't get disturbed by the light if you get an alert. Better still, swap your screens for a good book before bedtime (after you've taken your Benenox) and you'll be drifting off to the land of nod in no time.
Eat well. Sleep well.
You might not realise it, but there are lots of foods that can help you to get to sleep more easily. Cherries are a great source of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, which lowers your body temperature and helps it return to sleep mode. You could also try cottage cheese and oat crackers. It’s a great snack to have during the day or if you need a midnight snack. The casein protein in cottage cheese (and some other dairy products) is released and digested slowly, which prevents you from getting hungry again during the night. And finally, bananas are super easy to digest and full of magnesium and potassium to help tired muscles to relax.
Yoga for sleep
Finally, try incorporating some yoga into your bedtime routine. The National Sleep Foundation says it can be especially helpful if you’re pregnant or suffer from insomnia. It’s also a great way to calm mind and body if you’re stressed out or can’t switch off. Calm your breath and practice a few relaxing and restorative asanas (positions) such as child's pose, cat cow and reclined bound angle. You’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time!
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