4 New Year's Resolutions for Better Sleep
You're already well aware that getting out of bed is the worst part of your day, but stop that feeling from getting in the way of your day by adopting New Year's resolutions that may lead to overall better sleeping habits.
1. Curb the Caffeine Addiction
A hot cup of coffee in the morning may be the best way to jump-start your day, but it's best to keep your caffeine consumption during the morning and early afternoon hours if you're looking to sleep better at night. The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School recommended avoiding caffeine for four to six hours before bedtime, as the chemicals can inhibit your body from properly falling and staying asleep. Stick with water before bedtime to ensure your sleep cycle remains uninterrupted.
If you've got unhealthy caffeine habits you're trying to curb at the beginning of the new year, try keeping a journal of the number of caffeinated beverages you drink each day. A tangible record can help you recognize how many sodas or coffees you're drinking each day, then allow you to come up with a strategy to minimize those numbers.
2. Join that Gym
Is working out more among your New Year's resolutions? If you're in need of better bedtime habits, it should be. Exercising is a great way to not only keep your body in shape, but regulate its overall processes, which can lead to much more consistent sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommended exercising at least once per day for the best results. If aches and pains keep you up at night, invest in a therapeutic mattress pad that can quell those concerns with radiant heat.
3. Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
Some scientists believe that one glass of alcohol per day can boost overall health, but an abundance of alcohol before bed can seriously hamper your REM cycle. The Division of Sleep Medicine noted that alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but after a few hours, the effects wear off and actually produce the opposite result. The source recommended avoiding alcohol for at least three hours before bed.
4. Start Eating Healthier
You've already decided to pay more attention to your health this year, so start by altering your diet to include more nutritious foods. Thankfully, many of those foods that are so good for you can also have a drastic impact on your sleep schedule. Reader's Digest magazine noted that greens - like kale, spinach and lettuce - can help bring about sleep, making them ideal for including in your New Year's diet.