Getting Better Sleep in the New Year (and Beyond!)
It’s the time of year again when we make promises to ourselves that we’ll finally lose those last ten pounds, spend more time with friends and family, or better our lives in a multitude of ways.
And while New Year’s resolutions are a great way to make sure that we improve many areas of our lives, we tend to leave a very important one out of the plans – we’re talking about sleep, of course!
We might be a bit biased, but the team at Lull strongly believes that getting better sleep, along with regular exercise and a healthy diet, are the three “pillars of health.”
Not only does quality sleep help you to better your overall physical and mental well-being, it can also help you to reach some of your other goals for 2017 – getting more exercise, losing weight, and eating better.
How? Well, multiple studies have found that sleep loss is closely related to increased cravings for sugary, fatty, and otherwise junky foods, feeling fatigued throughout the day, and making unhealthy choices like hitting the drive-thru instead of the gym.
Create a Better Sleep Routine for 2017
The hardest part of any New Year’s Resolution is making big changes to our behavior patterns. Habits can be hard to break! This is especially true of health-related resolutions, thanks to the temptations of junk food and the draw of a Netflix marathon on the couch. It can also be difficult to give yourself permission to get up to two hours more of sleep each day when you already have a ton to get done.
Making wise choices and big changes for your health can be overwhelming, and many people find themselves ditching their resolutions well before Easter. We definitely get it! Let’s just not talk about the amount of money that we’ve all wasted on gym membership fees, okay?
But with the right strategies and mindset, getting more sleep and living a healthier lifestyle can definitely be attainable. One of the best ways to set yourself up for success is by giving yourself kudos for even the smallest of steps toward achieving your goals, and holding off on the negative self-talk when you don’t quite get all the way to your intended goal.
For example, if your resolution is to get an hour and a half more sleep each night in the new year, but on some of your busiest days, you only manage an additional thirty minutes, congratulate yourself instead of beating yourself up. That’s still thirty minutes more rest than you were getting last year!
Getting Started with Healthy Sleep Habits
When it comes to getting better sleep, another problem some people can face is not knowing where to start or how to get more sleep. We’re here to help! You can check out some of our top tips for getting an awesome night of sleep or think about getting started with a sleep diary to help track the areas where your sleep habits can be improved.
Pick up a nice journal from Amazon or your local bookstore and keep it next to your bed. Write down the times that you go to bed and the times that you get up each day. This will give you an idea of any kinds of sleep schedule patterns that you might have in place already, and also help you to see where you could easily get some more sleep by tweaking your bedtime or wakeup routine.
You should also keep a close eye on your electronics usage before bedtime – banish the harsh blue light of smartphones, TVs, and other digital toys at least two hours before turning in for the night. And also keep an eye on your snacking habits. Do you find yourself imbibing in a treat right before bed (or even in it) on a regular basis? If so, this could be messing with your ability to fall asleep, and stay that way. Consider cutting off food consumption two or three hours before bedtime. You just might see an improvement in your sleep!
Recognizing the importance of sleep in your overall well-being and taking the time to improve your sleep habits can make for an awesome New Year’s resolution that turns into a gift to yourself that keeps on giving. The Lull team wishes you and yours a very Happy New Year – may it be happy, healthy, and full of quality sleep!