19th December 2019
With 2020 fast approaching, we’ve rounded up some of the best sleep resolutions that will improve your health and well being in the New Year. Read on to discover our tips!
1. Who said technology doesn’t belong in the bedroom?
It’s no secret that the bright light emitted from computer screens, smartphones, and eReaders can be detrimental to sleep by inhibiting the production of melatonin, and should therefore be avoided before you head to sleep. However, introducing some of the latest in sleep technology to your bedroom could be the trick to getting your best night’s sleep in 2020. From smart alarm clocks that wake you gently with light, to wearable sleep trackers that provide an overall assessment of sleep state, investing in some of the latest sleep gadgets could see a noticeable improvement in your sleep health.
2. Consider your late night snacks
It can be hard to separate the myths and facts when it comes to the food you eat and the effects on your sleep. As a general rule, we recommend avoiding caffeine in the late afternoon, as the effects of this can last up to 10 hours, with a noticeable impact on your ability to fall asleep and the quality of your slumber. Similarly, whilst alcohol initially acts as a sedative allowing you to fall asleep more quickly, this can cause your sleep to be disrupted and fragmented throughout the night. If you find yourself struggling with sleepless nights, set a realistic goal to reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake in the lead up to bedtime.
3. Develop a bedtime routine that works for you
Perhaps the most important resolution to improve your overall sleep health in the New Year and beyond is to develop a bedtime routine and truly stick to it. Maintaining a routine that works for you can be hugely beneficial in preparing your mind and body for sleep. Whether it be listening to soothing music or an ASMR podcast, taking a bath or shower, or reading a book with a warm drink, allowing your mind to unwind before you jump into bed will avoid those sleepless nights staring at the ceiling. Research suggests that it only takes a few weeks to form a new habit, so this New Year make a sleep routine the top of your priority.
4. Stick to your bedtime and wake up at the same time everyday
Establishing and maintaining a regular bed time can be incredibly helpful for feeling rested and energised the following morning, especially if you’re planning on waking up early. This is because sticking to a sleep schedule not only ensures you will get a sufficient amount of sleep, but will also aid the synchronisation of your internal body clock. Avoid procrastinating throughout the day then rushing to complete tasks in the evening that often see you losing track of time, this will help ensure you stick to your new bedtime. You should also try waking up at the same time every day and avoiding sleeping in on weekends to optimise your energy levels.
5. Start catching up on lost sleep efficiently
Whilst many of us find ourselves sleeping in on a weekend to compensate for lost hours and early starts throughout the week, oversleeping may further disturb your schedule. Though weekends may help us feel refreshed in the short term, reducing the sleep debt we accumulate usually takes time and consistency. Studies have shown that a short-term debt of 10 hours accumulated over a week can typically be repaid with an extra 3-4 hours sleep over the weekend, with an additional 1-2 hours per night the following week. However, longer-term sleep debt may require a greater focus on improving sleeping habits.
6. Steer clear of the snooze button
We get it, sometimes the temptation to hit snooze is all too real when the mornings still feel like the middle of the night, but hitting snooze may be counterproductive to feeling energised, and you are only delaying the inevitable! If you know you’ll need a little extra sleep on those dark winter mornings, it is much better to set a later alarm and enjoy an uninterrupted extra 10 minutes of sleep rather than snoozing your alarm.
7. Master the power nap
When it comes to napping, we all know that sometimes we wake up feeling even groggier than before. The key to mastering the quick power nap and maximising its effectiveness is to keep it just that – quick! By limiting your nap to less than 30 minutes you will avoid falling into a deeper sleep and experiencing sleep inertia, where your body suffers from drowsiness, disorientation and a decline in motor dexterity immediately after waking.