A new year brings with it the promise of new habits. The dawn and freshness that it epitomizes is one that forces us to re-prioritize our lives, our schedules, our purpose and passion and to really delve down and become intentional about our lives. Or at least, that is the hope, before our resolutions diminish into the rhythm of the mundane nature of life.
One of the common habits that many try to re-assess is their sleep schedule. It seems as if so much revolves around it. Sure, we all want to hit the gym and what better way to accomplish that but to sleep early, wake up refreshed and get that workout in. We want to focus more and pursue passions which are only attainable when we are well rested beings. We want to be patient, be less impulsive and reduce stress levels. All of these seem doable with proper rest and good sleep patterns.
Proper sleep is shown to aid cognition and help the body’s neurological functioning which in turn help us maintain focus, think clearly, stabilize appetites and in general, help us to have a more positive outlook on life.
Research has shown that more than one third of our population is getting by on less than 5 hours of sleep while one in ten persons suffer from chronic insomnia. This hampers their overall physical and mental wellbeing.
The start of the New Year is the ideal time to change our sleep habits and poor choices that are potentially hampering the quality of our sleep.
New Year Resolution Ideas to Help you Sleep Better
Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake - Caffeinated drinks, especially in the mid afternoon and early evening should be avoided if you struggle with falling asleep even when your body feels tired. Alcohol, which arguably, can make you sleepy does not allow your body to fall into the deep sleep it needs in order to feel rested. Additionally, the after effects of alcohol consumption can be a deterrent to having a productive day.
Turn off all screens at least an hour before bed - For those of us who enjoy browsing social media or playing games while in bed, this sounds like torture but research shows a strong link between artificial light emitted from screens and the suppression of melatonin which is the hormone responsible for sleep.
Experiment with relaxation techniques - Perhaps, you, like most people, have a long and tedious to-do list that rests heavily on your mind when you lay down at night. It may be worthwhile to explore options that help you relax. Maybe yoga and meditation, soothing sleep sounds, a calming bath, a spritz of lavender in the room, etc. Creating a relaxing pre-bedtime routing and finding your zen is essential to resting well.
Move more - Exercise undoubtedly helps us sleep well. Try to get some fresh air and move your body every day. Stress can also be managed effectively though deep breathing exercises.
Naimah Shaw is the mother of five beautiful children and the owner/content creator of the parenting blog, This Beautiful Life. There you can find product reviews, articles and conversations about food, homeschooling and motherhood. We are pleased to have her as a regular contributor to Fade Away Sleep Sounds.