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
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!
I will make my bed on a daily basis. The key to making your bedroom an inviting place to spend some relaxation time in is to have it in order. This begins with making your bed every morning so you have a calm, cosy place to snuggle up when night time comes.
A National Sleep Foundation poll indicated that people who make their beds on a daily basis are 19 percent more likely to get a good sleep than people who don’t, so maybe your parents were right after all when they told you to make your bed!
I will not play with electronic gadgets at bedtime. You need to get into the frame of mind that your bedroom is for sleep. If you turn into bed to watch TV or to check your emails on your smartphone, your brain will be far more active than it should be, making you less able to fall asleep when you need to.
In addition, being constantly connected to the outside world stops you from being able to detach from your work, so you can’t get time to relax your mind.
I will adhere to the same sleep routine, even at weekends. This is perhaps one of the most difficult sleep resolutions to stick to as there is always the temptation to “sleep in” on a weekend. However, it’s crucial that you get into an unchanging routine of waking up around the same time every morning as well as going to bed at the same time at night to help set your internal clock.
If you’re particularly tired at the weekend, try to go to bed a bit earlier instead of sleeping in significantly later than your normal wake up. If you change your sleep pattern too much on the weekend, it will impact your sleep during the week, and you’ll be caught in an endless cycle of weekend catch up.
I will turn off the light. It stands to reason that if your bedroom is too bright, you’ll have trouble sleeping, and there’s evidence to suggest that exposure to artificial light before you sleep can reduce the quality of your sleep as it suppresses melatonin production.
I will sleep in a quiet room. Although it’s obvious, it’s still crucial to highlight that to get a good night’s sleep you need to have peace and quiet. If you’re a shift worker or have a different sleep schedule to others in your house, this might seem to be easier said than done. If noise is affecting you to the point you can’t rest, then investing in a pair of inexpensive earplugs can help.
I will invest in a good, supportive mattress. Having a good, supportive mattress is the foundation for a good sleep, particularly if you suffer from ailments such as back pain. You spend about a third of every day in bed. Whether that time is spent blissfully slumbering -- or tossing and turning -- depends a lot on your mattress. 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.
I will exercise regularly. Getting enough exercise throughout the day should ensure that you’re tired out at night and ready to go to sleep. It’s important to remember that you should never exercise vigorously before bedtime or even within a few hours of it, as this stimulates your body and makes you feel more awake.
Exercising outside in the morning can enable you to have the light exposure needed to set your biological clock and be ready for sleeping when night time comes.
I will get enough bright light. It’s imperative to expose yourself to bright light in the mornings, as well as avoiding it at night. This is because exposure to bright light in the mornings is energising, and helps you to prepare for a full and productive day.
I will not drink alcohol or caffeine before bed. Drinking alcohol isn’t a good idea before bedtime as it can disrupt the natural rhythm of your body, thus interfering with the quality of your sleep. In terms of caffeine, this is a stimulant, and is therefore definitely something you don’t want in your system when you’re trying to wind down and relax. Watch out for hidden sources of caffeine in sodas and even chocolate.
From all of us at Moon Mattress, have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Sleep well.