Latest posts by Dr. Dan Jensen (see all)
- Sleep Resolutions for the New Year - December 31, 2019
- Sleep Apnea and Heart Health - December 31, 2019
- Is There a Connection Between Anxiety and Sleep Apnea? - December 22, 2019
It’s that time of year again, and we’re all making New Year’s resolutions. We want to be healthier and happier in the new year, be less stressed, and enjoy more time with our loved ones. As the year ends, we evaluate ourselves, and think about what we can improve to bring more joy into our lives. One resolution that should be at the top of everyone’s list is better sleep! No matter what else is on your resolutions list, being well rested and waking up each day feeling refreshed and full of energy will make everything else easier to achieve. Here are the best sleep resolutions for the New Year.
Don’t Use Electronics in Your Room
One of the best sleep resolutions for the New Year is to avoid using your phone, computer, tablet, or TV in your room. Research shows that the blue light from these screens inhibits the natural production of melatonin, and you’ll struggle to fall asleep. The best way to avoid screens it to remove the temptation altogether, so ban electronics from your bedroom. Don’t use any technology one hour before sleeping, and pick up a book, make some chamomile tea, or listen to some calming music to enjoy deep sleep.
Watch What You Drink in the Evening
Another important sleep resolution for the New Year is to watch your caffeine and alcohol consumption in the evening. Coffee is a great way to start the day, but drinking coffee or a strong black tea in the late afternoon or evening can affect your sleep, and keep you awake in the night. Skip the caffeine and opt for a herbal tea rather than a coffee.
Alcohol can also make it hard to sleep. You may think that drinking helps you sleep, and while it’s true that having a few beers before bed can make you fall asleep faster, research shows that consuming a lot of alcohol in the evening will lead to disrupted sleep, and you won’t get enough deep sleep to feel well rested in the morning. To get a good night’s sleep, cut back on the number of nights you drink.
Create a Sleep Schedule
Our body’s function best with a routine, so to get the best sleep and keep your circadian rhythm constant, create a sleep schedule and stick with it. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day will become a habit, and your body will naturally feel sleepy around the time you usually go to bed. Try to maintain this sleep schedule every day, even on the weekends, and let your body develop a great sleep routine for better sleep in the New Year.
Evaluate Your Sleep Environment
If you haven’t been sleeping well, start the New Year off with a bedroom makeover, and get the sleep you deserve. Your room should be painted with a neutral, soothing color, and the bed needs soft, cozy sheets and blankets. Get darkening blinds for the window, and keep the room cool at night. Do you have the right pillow? Each sleep position has a different pillow that works best, so make sure your pillow isn’t too low or too high for your sleep position.
Eliminate Background Noise
Do you have trouble sleeping because someone else in the house is making noise? Maybe you live on a noisy street and can hear traffic noise. If you struggle to sleep because of annoying background noise, try sleeping with a white noise machine and enjoy peaceful sleep. You can listen to nature sounds, soothing ocean noises, white noise, pink noise, or sounds like a fan or vacuum cleaner. Find the white noise that works for you, and get the best sleep in the New Year.
Visit a Sleep Specialist
Sleeping soundly improves your mood and gives you more energy. Sleep is also important for your memory, and getting enough shut-eye will improve your cognitive abilities, strengthen your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight, heart rate, and blood pressure.
If you’ve struggled to sleep this last year, resolve to get better sleep in the New Year, and visit a sleep specialist to discover why you’re not sleeping. You may have a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, or have unhealthy sleep habits. Whatever the case may be, at Sound Sleep Medical we’ll help you get the sleep you need to have a great year.