Happy New Year!
Yes, a fresh start and clean slate… also, a time where we all make resolutions that we try to keep going as long as we can. But in most cases we struggle to make it past January, and I’ve come to realize a major reason for this is that we are solely focused on that one resolution and end up making terrible decisions on things that can actually help us… like sleep!
Did you know sleep could actually help you lose weight? Did you know that you would actually be more productive at work if you got enough sleep? Did you know sleep could reduce stress and improve your memory? Did you know sleep can help keep your body and heart healthy, making it the single most important factor in your longevity?
This means the major key to success this year is as simple as going to bed! Get enough sleep to keep your mind and body sharp, and everything else will begin to fall into place. Now if it were this easy wouldn’t we all be doing it already? The simple answer is yes, but sleep doesn’t come easy sometimes.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the sweet spot for adults is between 7 to 9 hours each night. So how do you get there?
The Mayo Clinic outlines 7 basic tips to sleep, and there are a few that you will find all sleep advocates, like Arianna Huffington, have in common. Arianna Huffington has become one of the most vocal proponents for sleep and how it can help you achieve your goals or as she says “sleep your way to the top”!
Here are the major keys to getting your best sleep this year:
KEEP IT COOL
Studies show that sleeping in a cool environment can help you get to sleep and sleep well. A great tip apart from dropping the thermostat is to sleep on a mattress that naturally keeps you cool, like Essentia mattresses, which have been tested to sleep on average 7 degrees cooler than your body temperature.
DROP THE DEVICES IN THE BEDROOM
As hard as it may be, put the cell phone, laptop and tablet in another room. The light from these devices can obstruct the body’s production of melatonin, which you need to help you sleep. This is probably going to be the hardest to accomplish, but with some determination and making it a part of your nightly routine you can get it done.
MAKE A NIGHTIME ROUTINE
Create a ritual every night: leave all devices in another room, drink some hot tea, take a warm shower, read a bit (from an actual book) and snuggle into bed. Creating a new habit can take longer than you thought, but you will reap the rewards of getting amazing sleep that can help you create more new, healthy habits along the way. Pick a wind-down routine that best fits your lifestyle and you will succeed.
KEEP A SLEEP SCHEDULE
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day! Being consistent means you can eventually ditch the alarm clock as your body naturally knows when it’s time to wake up. Each person has a different sweet spot of how many hours of sleep a night you need between 7 and 9. Try different bedtimes and wake up times, takes notes of how you feel on 7 hours of sleep vs 8 hours of sleep vs 9 hours of sleep. You’ll notice slight differences and be able to tell which day you were operating at your best.
Greatist has also put together “The Ultimate Guide to Totally Nailing Every One of Your Resolutions” be sure to check it out! It’s chock-full of great tips to help you with all your resolutions, including getting more sleep.