Getting a good night's sleep is easier said than done, which is why one-in-three adults don't get enough sleep each night.
A lack of sleep doesn't just leave you feeling tired the next day, but you can experience more severe health issues if you aren't sleeping enough. For example, a lack of sleep negatively affects cognitive processes and can lead to heart disease or diabetes in the long-run.
That's why it should be your mission in the new year to make adjustments and start getting restful nights, every night.
Here's your guide to sleeping better in the new year.
Get in Sync With Your Natural Sleep-Wake Cycle
Your body has a natural sleep-wake cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm. If you are completely out of sync with your cycle, you will find it hard to fall asleep at night and will feel more tired during the day.
This often happens when people don't keep a regular sleep cycle. For example, you might wake up early during the week but sleep in on weekends, which can confuse your body and make it difficult to sleep the following week.
In order to get in sync with your circadian rhythm, try to stick to a strict sleep schedule all week. Go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time, and you'll find it a lot easier to wake up in the morning after a more restful night.
Watch What You Eat and Drink
Did you know that certain drinks and foods can make it difficult to get a good night's sleep?
It's true, and these foods and drinks may be the culprit for your lack of sleep.
The foods and drinks you should limit, especially in the evening, include:
- Rich, heavy foods
- Sugary foods
- Refined carbs
If you eat or drink these items, try to do so a few hours before going to bed. Also, avoid consuming any nicotine as that can lead to difficulty falling asleep.
Limit Your Exposure to Light at Night
Over the past decade, one of the most common causes of restlessness is exposure to blue light at night. We are constantly looking at our phone or watching Netflix in bed, and this actually confuses your body because the light is telling your body that it's not nighttime yet.
If you have been using your phone while in bed, or you keep the TV on, this is likely negatively impacting your ability to fall asleep. Consider putting your phone away at least 30 minutes before going to bed and turn the TV off.
If you need to use your phone or computer right before bed, try using a blue light filter to keep your body ready for sleep.
It's also important to make sure you're getting enough light during the day to really strengthen your circadian rhythm. Try to get plenty of sunlight during the day. If that's not possible due to the region you live in, consider using a light therapy box in the morning.
Exercise More During the Day
Getting more exercise is one of the most common New Year's resolutions, and you can use it to not only become more fit but also to improve your sleep each night.
By pushing yourself and using up more energy during the day, your mind and body will be much more tired in the evening, making it a lot easier to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
If you spend hours a day at your work desk, not getting enough exercise can be a major detriment to your ability to sleep. Consider working in exercises wherever you have time, such as before work, during your lunch break, or when you get home. Even going for a long walk can make a big difference in falling asleep more quickly.
Practice Mindfulness and Breathing Techniques
Do you find your mind racing when you lay down and close your eyes? Does your anxiety kick in at the worst possible time, keeping you awake for hours at night?
This is a common problem and one that's difficult to overcome.
When you practice mindfulness, you'll learn to control your thoughts and stay in the moment, which will significantly improve your anxiety at night.
There are a few mindfulness techniques that you can try when you're going to sleep. The first is a body scan, which is where you slowly scan your body and relax each muscle and part of your body. Another option is to practice deep breathing techniques that can help you relax your mind and body.
Make Your Bedroom the Perfect Sleeping Environment
If you utilize all of the above tips, they might not be enough if you have a poor sleeping environment. If you have a 20-year old pillow and worn-out mattress, you'll not only sleep poorly but you'll be in pain every morning.
Upgrading your mattress, pillow, and having plenty of comfortable blankets can make all the difference in the world. You can also use blackout curtains to keep your room dark if you need to sleep during the day.
Use These Tips for More Restful Nights
Don't let a lack of sleep affect your life any longer. By using these tips, you will start having restful nights and feel much more energized and healthy during the day.
Here at Nest Bedding, we have the highest-quality mattresses, bedding material, and sleep apparel to help you get plenty of sleep each night.
Take a look and start the new year off by giving your mind and body the rest they deserve.