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Make Getting Better Sleep Your New Year’s Resolution

Jan 10, 2019

Tired of making the same New Year’s resolutions? Exercise more, eat better, spend less etc.

We’ve all been there. But if you’re still thinking of some New Year’s resolution ideas, what about getting more, or better, sleep?

Sleep is essential to maintaining your physical and mental health and wellbeing but less and less of us are getting an adequate amount of sleep (a third of us get by on as little as five to six hours a night).

While around seven to eight hours of sleep per night is considered the norm, don’t get too hung up on the number. Yes it’s important to ensure you get enough but it’s also about the quality of sleep you get. Some of us function perfectly fine with six or six and a half hours a night whereas those who get eight still feel sleepy and want more!

The start of a new year is an ideal time to assess your sleep quality and change any old habits that hampering your zzzs. Remember when you sleep well, you will ultimately be more motivated to eat better and move more but also you feel less stressed, think more clearly, your mood will improve and you will generally be more happier!

New Year’s resolution ideas to help you sleep

  1. Try to stick to a regular bed/wake time schedule. It might not always be easy if you have children or work shifts but where you can, try to keep it consistent. You’ll be amazed at how your body will love sticking to a routine.
  2. Move more. Exercise really does help you sleep. Try saving vigorous workouts for earlier in the day and use the evening to participate in gentler activities such as yoga which can be a perfect late night routine to prepare you for sleep.
  3. Overhaul caffeine and alcohol consumption. While alcohol can initially make you feel sleep and help you nod off, it does prevent you getting the deep, quality sleep your body needs. It upsets your sleep patterns and leaves you feeling dehydrated. Avoid caffeine from mid afternoon if you suffer with sleeping.
  4. Watch what you eat. Rich or spicy foods take longer to digest which can make it harder to fall asleep. Small changes can have a huge impact on your sleep quality and quantity. Diet, exercise and sleep all work together… you can’t do one right without the other two!
  5. Make this the year that you turn off all screens an hour before bed! Stop binging on boxsets and looking at Instagram one MORE time! Artificial light later at night suppresses melatonin – the hormone you need to feel sleepy. Not only that but scrolling through social media or playing games can stimulate the brain making it harder to switch off.
  6. Give some thought to what you’re sleeping on. If it’s an old mattress (more than seven years) then maybe it’s time to look at buying a new one. What you sleep on affects how you sleep – research has shown that a new mattress can increase the amount of sleep you get by 42 minutes.
  7. Experiment with new ways to relax. For example try having a warm bath with calming scents, listen to quiet soothing music, pick up an enjoyable book to read or embrace the power of mindfulness or yoga exercises.
  8. Try new ideas in the bedroom. Think curtains, lighting etc – to make it the ideal sleeping environment. Remove clutter and anything work related. Your bedroom should be kept for rest and sleep.
  9. Stop pressing snooze. Hitting the snooze button multiple times doesn’t help you get any more sleep and can leave you feeling more tired. Move your alarm to the other side of the room so you have to get up to switch it off!