January was a blur, February seemed like it lasted two days, and did we just skip March this year? It is hard to believe it is already more than three months into the New Year, and while everyone would all like to say they are sticking to their sleep resolutions, that just isn’t the case for a lot of people. Vowing to sleep more, sticking to a bedtime and establishing a pre-sleep routine are all great ideas, but if you aren’t doing these things continuously, you are doing more harm than good. A lack of sleep doesn’t just affect your mood and energy levels, it can also have an impact on your overall health.
Getting more sleep can also help us achieve our other resolutions, like being more productive at work or losing some weight. Even if you’ve fallen off track over the past few weeks, it’s not too late to recommit to better sleep!
We all want better sleep, but actually achieving adequate shut-eye is usually easier said than done. Here are some resolutions you can adapt now to help get you on your way to sound sleep and a more refreshed morning.
Your sleep and wake cycles help your body know when you should be sleeping and when you should be awake. But when you go to bed and wake up at different times daily, it can be hard for your body to know when it’s time to snooze and when it’s time to get out of bed. Establishing a bedtime and setting your alarm for the same time each morning (even on the weekends) will help your body regulate your sleep and wake cycles, making you feel sleepy or energized around the same time every day.
It’s a love hate relationship when it comes to the snooze button. You love the extra few minutes of sleep it gives you, but you often wake up feeling even more tired than before you hit snooze – and that’s definitely not something to love. Reaching for the snooze button may kickstart your sleep cycle again, leaving you groggy, drowsy and more exhausted when you finally do get up. Your body is preparing to wake up even before your alarm goes off, so it is best to avoid the snooze button entirely.
A lot of people can attest to how tough it is to put down your smartphone, tablets and laptop before bed, and how tempting it can be to watch just one (but may three) more episode of the Netflix show you’re binging. However, turning off the tech before bed can make a huge difference in your sleep. These devices emit blue light which suppresses our body’s natural production of melatonin – making it even harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try enacting a digital curfew in your home. Turn everything off an hour or two before bed and your descent into dreamland will take less and less time.
Things come up and real life gets in the way – making sleep lower on your priority list. However, there are some things to keep in mind that will make sticking to your sleep resolutions much easier.
If you don’t get home from work until 9 at night, it is unrealistic to expect to be in bed at 10. There are always things to do before bed and your mind and body need time to unwind and get ready for sleep. Instead, set realistic goals that are easy for you to reach. Upgrading your mattress, developing a pre-bed routine or avoiding alcohol before bed all are obtainable goals that will help you get better sleep.
You normally aren’t the only one in our household that can use better sleep. Recruit your partner or your kids to make over their sleep habits with you. Not only does this help add more accountability, you both can provide support to make your goals seem much more achievable.
As much as you want sleep to be our number one priority, your careers, family and life aren’t always on the same page as us. Be prepared for slip-ups to happen, but that doesn’t mean you need to forego your commitment to your sleep resolutions. Forgive yourself and then get back on track for better sleep!
Even if you haven’t had much success sticking to your sleep resolutions this year, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to start. Getting better sleep is an important goal for everyone and should be something you strive for every day and night. If you’re still having trouble sleeping, or achieving adequate sleep quality, after you’ve recommitted to your resolutions, a melatonin sleep supplement may be what you need to fill in the gaps. REMfresh sleep supplements mimic your body’s natural production of melatonin, offering a healthy alternative to prescription sleep aids and helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer*!
Here’s to better sleep for the rest of 2019!