It’s the start of a new year, a new decade, and potentially a new you! One of the most positive changes you can make at the start of 2020 is committing to better sleep health. Sleep affects your mental and physical well-being in deep ways, making it essential to get enough rest on a nightly basis. If you do, you will start to feel better, look better, and want to live fully day in and day out. Follow these five expert-approved tips for developing healthy sleep habits.
Create a Routine
No matter what you do to improve your sleep, do it consistently. Changes to your sleep routine make it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep. Those changes can include going to bed at different times, sleeping in different locations, or wearing different clothes to sleep in (among lots of others). Ideally, you follow the exact same sleep routine every single night, but that’s unreasonable for most people. When you must change your routine – because you’re traveling, feeling sick, or staying out late – try to keep other variables consistent. For example, take your favorite pajamas with you on trips, and wake up at the same time even if you go to sleep later. When your body becomes used to a consistent sleep routine, following that routine becomes one of the easiest ways to get deep, healthy sleep.
Prep Your Body for Sleep
You might be your own worst enemy when it comes to sleep. Make sure you’re not keeping yourself unnecessarily awake by avoiding alcohol and caffeine for several hours before bed time. Similarly, try not to eat after dinner or to only snack lightly as digestive issues can make it harder to get relaxed. In addition to prepping your body for sleep, prep your mind by putting down your phone and turning off the TV at least 30 minutes before you plan to sleep. Calming as both these activities may be, they only keep your mind active and your body awake when you’re looking for the opposite. Reading a book, meditating, stretching, or talking are all relaxing before-bed activities that help bring you closer to sleep.
What is your 2020 New Year’s resolution? How about take more naps? Taking the right nap at the right time can actually help you sleep better at night. That’s because you get a boost of energy that keeps you active through the rest of the day and into the night. Think of it kind of like a cup of coffee in reverse – you get revitalized through rest. That being said, naps can hurt your nightly sleep if you sleep for too long or start too late in the day. There are also people who would sleep better if they avoided daytime naps entirely. You probably know which camp you fall into already, but if you’ve been struggling to sleep lately, it’s worth experimenting with napping more or less.
Exercise benefits your physical and mental health, and it’s just as positive on your sleep health. It just makes sense that if you burn off some energy during the day you will sleep better at night. The more energy the better, but it doesn’t take a vigorous workout to improve your sleep. Even something low-impact like walking, casual cycling, or light aerobics can help. However, make sure your exercise routine doesn’t hurt your sleep routine. For example, some people wake up early to fit in a morning workout, which is simply trading sleep for exercise. It’s also smart to avoid exercise, particularly strenuous activities, right before bedtime.
Upgrade Your Sleep Space
We mentioned the importance of sleeping in the same space every night. One caveat is that the space needs to be optimized for rest. Remember that just because a space is called a bedroom doesn’t mean it’s doing anything to support your sleep. The most obvious problems are bright lights and loud noises, which you can correct with blackout curtains, a white noise machine, or additional insulation. Your bedroom should also be slightly cool, between 67 and 70 degrees, with moving air if that makes you feel more comfortable. As much as possible, keep work materials, crafts, or entertainment devices out of the bedroom so that it’s a space just for sleep. Finally, make sure your sleep accessories – mattress, pillows, sheets, blankets, etc – are all to your liking. Everything directly in contact with your own body should help you sleep, not the opposite.
Resolve to Sleep Great in 2020!
Nothing compares to a great night of sleep. When you wake up to feel rested and refreshed, you’re ready to seize the day, put your best face forward, and grab life by the horns. Now imagine feeling that way everyday! It’s possible with the right sleep habits, along with the right sleep essentials. Your mattress, especially, could be the difference between great sleep and terrible sleep. Don’t let the wrong sleep surface hold you back in 2020 and beyond. Instead, visit one of the 38 Sit ‘n Sleep locations throughout Southern California to experience some of the most comfortable, affordable, and innovative mattresses in the industry. Our sleep experts can help you find the right mattress for you, along with everything else you need to sleep your best. Learn more about us on our website, and contact us if you have any questions.