It’s the start of a new year and while some resolutions are best left in January, others can reap lifelong benefits. Making a resolution to improve your sleep in 2019 could have a multitude of benefits, including improved mood and better mental and physical health…
To help you on your way to better sleep, Neil Robinson, Chief Sleep Officer at bed company Sealy UK has compiled a list of the sleep resolutions we should all be making in 2019.
Reset your routine
While we might all love a weekend lie-in, this can actually be detrimental to our sleep pattern. By allowing ourselves a later bed time, and in turn a later wake-up time on the weekends, our bodies are actually experiencing the same impact as they would from jet lag.
While you might be tempted to catch-up on lost sleep from the week, this can play havoc with your body’s circadian rhythm – the internal ‘clock’ which controls your energy levels. A regular bedtime on the other hand, will signal to your body that it’s time to feel tired, meaning you’ll be more likely to drop off to sleep no matter the day of the week.
There are no shortage of tech products on the market that claim to help you sleep. One product that made its debut last week at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is UMindSleep. A mini electroencephalogram (EEG) Sleep Monitor, it claims to use AI and real-time EEG data to analyse people’s mental states.
It comes with a wearable sleep tracer and monitor to track relevant sleep data, including EEG, heart rate, blood oxygen, forehead temperature, body movement, position, and snoring. It also accurately quantifies people’s sleep processes, including analysing sleep disorders and symptoms, and helps find effective ways to improve users’ sleep quality. The EEG analysis results achieve professional sleep-monitoring standards, claims the company, and could be used by medical institutions and health management agencies.
Reduce your light pollution
Light is one of the key influencing factors in your natural body clock, which is why it’s important to limit the amount of light you’re exposing yourself to in the run up to bed. Melatonin, the hormone responsible for controlling our body clock, is produced in the brain at night, meaning exposure to light before bed can have a negative impact on our sleep by suppressing its production and preventing us from feeling tired.
The best way to avoid this is to keep the lights dimmed in your home in the hours before bedtime, and to limit the amount of blue light you’re exposed to from screens such as TV and mobiles for around 30 minutes before you plan to sleep.
Keep a sleep journal
A sleep diary is a great way to help you identify what factors in your life are helping and hindering your sleep. Make a note of everything from your sleep times and what wakes you up during the night, to the food you’ve eaten, your amount of screen time, and your day’s activity.
After keeping a record of your sleep for a month, you’ll be able to see any trends on things during the day that are impacting you at night.
Eat more avocado
Getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t stop with your diet. Make sure you’re eating and drinking the right stuff to ensure good quality slumber. Foods high in magnesium, such as avocado, bananas and almonds, could be exactly what you need to drift off into a deep sleep. This is because magnesium decreases levels of cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’, meaning that the more avocado we eat, the better we sleep!
Declutter your bedroom
If you’re already struggling to drop off to sleep at night, a cluttered bedroom is going to do you no favours. While a comfy and supportive mattress is crucial to helping you rest, the environment in which you sleep also plays a huge part in the quality of your slumber.
In fact, studies have shown that those who have a messy and cluttered bedroom have a worse night’s sleep due to increased stress levels – compared to those that keep their room nice and tidy.
Make sure to have a clear out and tidy to create the perfect sleep oasis that will leave you feeling calm and relaxed rather than stressed out