What are the usual resolutions you make every new year?
- Exercising every morning
- Eating healthy food everyday lesser Junk
- Making yourself more productive
- Forming new habits & giving up old one’s
These are inevitable contents of your resolution list. Moreover, need I remind you the interesting excuses you make to yourself each time you fail?
If you are making New Year resolutions this year too, you might as well resolve to improve your health. The first step towards your health and well-being is to better your sleep. A good 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep can help keeping at bay a lot many diseases; still we fail to prioritise it. Let that be your New Year resolution for 2020.
Sleeping is one of the natural instincts of all humans & animals. However, lately humans seem to have trouble exercising this. Therefore, the best help one could do is find time to sleep and create the best environment that supports your sleeping habits.
Now there is nothing much we can do about the limited time we get to sleep. Time is luxury in today’s hustling world. However, we can definitely make good use of the little time we get. All you need to do is make little changes in your routine & create better sleeping habits & hygiene. So assuming that one of your resolutions for 2020 is to sleep better,
Let me suggest a few ways to ensure you good night sleep:
1. Avoid naps in the daytime.
Yes, I am fully aware that a smaller naps during daytime is sometimes more relaxing than sleeping at night. However, daytime naps may break your early to bed habit. It only helps you cover you lost sleep during the night.
Sadly, night time sleep is what benefits your health. If you sleep during the day, you may find it difficult to fall asleep at night and this in turn would affect the duration of your sleep & disturb your sleeping pattern. Instead, fall asleep early at night so that you do not have to crave for that mid day power nap.
2. Avoid blue light before bed.
Surprisingly, the invention of cell phone is turning out to be a curse rather than boon. Be it personal
or professional work, everything has become mobile centric. Indians spends on an average about 3-4 hours on cell phone. Social media has become an addiction to an extent that a web series, a movie or chatting with friends before bed will not let you sleep.
Today the world has reduced to fit into your palm. Yes, mobile phones are inevitable in this age where everything happens online. However, should you really use it at the expense of your sleep? The blue light emitted by these devices tricks your brain & boost attention, that diverts your mood disrupting your sleep. This also misbalances your circadian rhythm.
Every individual has different sleep cycle & circadian rhythm. Exposure of blue light & mobile brightness disturbs your sleep cycle & shifts your time. Hence, you fall asleep late & get up with deprived sleep in the morning.
Avoid using your phone an hour before you sleep. Still if your profession does not allow you to avoid mobile phones, Try this –
- Use your cell phone on low brightness
- Use red dim lights in the night as it has the lowest effect in the circadian rhythm shift.
- Use blue light blocking glasses to protect your eyes while reading on phones in the night.
3. Get yourself a good sleeping mattress.
Nothing can be worse than waking up everyday with soreness in muscles and body ache. If you wake up everyday with body pain and feeling more tired and exhausted rather than fresh, the culprit could be your mattress. Make this New Year the ideal time to get yourself a new mattress for the sake of your sleep.
What are the ill effects of sleeping on a worn down mattress? Obviously, your sleep is the first and most important victim.
We still house that old foam mattress from the last 15-20 years which has the potential of varied health issues. Remember mattress isn’t made to be used forever. A bad mattress may prevent you from getting a good night sleep affecting both your mental & physical well-being. This is also has a dramatic effect on how you feel throughout the day.
Today there are number of different types of mattresses available in the market. Depending upon your sleeping style, body temperature, your preferred mattress feel you can choose and the type of mattress & make your sleep comfortable.
You can choose from hybrid mattresses, dual comfort mattresses, memory foam mattresses, etc. Do your research & choose from different levels of comfort. Still confused, read the buying guide & choose the mattress based on your preferences and health requirements.
Some of the best Indian mattress brands we recommend are :
Over a time, your mattress may have accumulated allergens and dust and this may trigger allergies.
So, if you are convinced that your mattress has become old, then go by your instincts and get yourself a brand new mattress this New Year. Make sure to make use of any Christmas and New Year offers that are available during this festive season.
4. Cut down on your alcohol and caffeine intake at night.
Coffee is a well-known stimulant. Coffee intake in the morning is a good start for the day. However, its intake even a few hours before sleep is not recommended for its stimulating properties. Alcohol is also another drink that has the potential to hinder proper sleep. So this New Year resolve to not drink coffee or alcohol after 6pm, how much ever you may crave for it.
5. Use sleep-tracking apps.
Understanding one’s own sleeping pattern is the first step towards improving sleep quality. Such an understanding would help you to find out and change your unhealthy practices that have been contributing to your sleep disorder.
Sleep tracking apps are gaining popularity day by day. These apps check the amount of sleep you get, analyse the quality of your sleep by studying your movements and even check the quality of your sleep.
Studies suggest that people who use sleep tracking apps have been able to improve the quality of their sleep. Some of the sleep tracking apps we recommend using are
If you are gadget freak, you can opt for
6. Check what you eat before you sleep.
Late night meals are not rare incidents these days. Eating late in the night and midnight cravings can an impact on your sleep along with the type of food you choose to eat.
Digestion issues and acidity associated with certain foods can disturb the quality of your sleep. Especially heavy and spicy meals just before going to bed can lead to indigestion if you are a stomach sleeper. In addition, acid reflux causing burning like sensation in the heart can interrupt your sleep.
- Choose between Tryptophan-Rich foods like Warm milk with honey
- Fibre rich food like Nuts and Almonds
- Potassium rich food like the Banana
- Melatonin food like the cherries
- Carbs based food like cereals, barley, wheat
Avoid these before going to the bed:
- Caffeine based products like the coffee
- Dark chocolate
7. Create ideal bedroom routine
Try & not to enter your bed directly after watching a movie, web series or while working on your project. It is difficult to switch off your brain immediately & try to sleep. Instead, you can try and calm down yourself by meditating & bring back your drifting mind’s focus to sleep. Meditating just before sleep could enhance your sleep quality & help you fall asleep faster.
You can work yourself on
- Mindful meditation – which involves paying attention to your breathing and body
- Concentration meditation – which involves focusing on one thing while you practice breathing
- Guided meditation – listening to another person who guides you while you meditate
Also, create a health & a positive sleeping environment like keeping fresh flowers, perfect lighting conditions that help your way to perfect sleep.
8. Maintain discipline & stick to your schedule
No one except you can help achieve a good night sleep. Little changes in your habits may bring about noticeable difference in your health and general well-being.
Research suggests it takes 21 days to form a habit as long as you stick to your plan and keep continuing. Self-discipline cannot be thought, you need to master it. Plan you schedule & pledge to stick to it for better sleep at night.
Every new year comes with lots of hope. Hence, this New Year grab the best opportunity to & make a resolution to bring about good changes in your lifestyle.
Resolve to sleep better this year. Happy New Year!