And all too soon, January rolls around again and it’s time to quit the booze, take up boxing, stop buying pringles and learn Mandarin. But is embarking on too many new year’s resolutions a good idea? Sticking to one main goal such as getting better sleep gives you a much greater chance of keeping it up long term.
We explore how to keep your new year’s resolutions well into the new year with some simple tips and changes.
If you want to make your 2020 a year of peaceful sleep, low stress levels and lively mornings, we’ve got some ideas on how to improve your sleep for good.
Setting New Year's Resolutions
If you set a goal of running a marathon when you can barely manage a mile, you could find you start to peter out mid February. The trick is to set manageable targets that can be made possible by taking regular, small steps.
Here’s what you need to think about when setting resolutions;
- Be honest with yourself. Is it feasible considering your workload/family life/current fitness level/budget? (delete as appropriate)
- Less is more. Sticking to between 1-3 manageable goals will make it much easier to stay on track.
- Think personal. Rather than going for something generic like losing weight, try to think of a change that will actually improve your life.
- Can you measure it? According to psychologists, setting a goal you can measure is important. Track your progress with a diary or take pictures so you can see the real progress you’re making.
- Plan early. The sooner you start thinking about the changes you’re about to make and how to implement them, the easier it will be to get started.
Sticking to New Year's Resolutions
Once you’ve chosen your new year’s resolutions, it’s time for the hard part- actually sticking to them.
We get it - depriving ourselves of our normal comforts when it’s cold and minus degrees outside can make it hard to stay motivated.
Here’s some tips on maintaining your resolutions for good;
- Break it down. Breaking down your goal into short, manageable steps makes a big task feel less daunting.
- Set a time frame. Setting a date for a specific milestone will help you reach your goal. For example, challenging yourself to sleep a full eight hours, eight weeks from now will give you something to work towards.
- Get friends and family on your side. Having an honest conversation with those close to you will give you more support when the going gets tough. Who knows - maybe they’ll join you in your venture?
- Mistakes happen. Bad habits are hard to break and it’s likely that you’ll slip up now and again. When this happens, don’t give up! Every day is a new day.
Why Choose Better Sleep for the New Year?
Why make sleep a priority in the new year? Quality sleep is vital for our overall health and wellbeing and can affect most elements of our daily lives.
Here are just some of the health benefits of getting good, regular sleep;
- Improves your health in the long and short term
- Helps you deal with stressful daytime situations
- Improves brain function, concentration and memory
- Can help you maintain a healthy weight
- Lowers blood pressure
- Limits the chance of diabetes
- Improves your mood
- Encourages good posture
- Boosts daytime creativity
So, whether you want to lose a few pounds, bag that promotion or simply start to feel a little more like yourself- sleep is a powerful resource that we can all use to our benefit!
New Year's Resolution Ideas for Better Sleep
From better performance at work, to having more energy to exert with your children - now we know the benefits of better sleep, it’s time to make an action plan. As we said before, choosing just a few relevant changes from this list to focus on gives you a much greater chance of success;
Increase Daylight Exposure
During the winter months, our exposure to daylight decreases which can have a negative impact on our sleep and natural circadian rhythm. Getting outside can be difficult when our busy lives force us to stay indoors, so spending some time in front of a special bright light can have similar effects.
At the same time, minimising your exposure to the blue lights on your phone or laptop screen an hour or two before bed can help you fall asleep faster.
Goal 1: Take a 20 minute stroll outside on your lunch break
Goal 2: Spend 20 minutes in front of a bright light each day
Goal 3: Avoid screens 1 hour before bed each night
Avoid Late Night Caffeine and Sugar
It’s well known that caffeine, sugar and alcohol before bed can prevent us from achieving a deep and restful sleep. Making small changes to our diet can have surprising impacts on how our body reacts.
Goal 1: Avoid caffeine after 3pm
Goal 2: Replace after dinner sweet treat with a healthy alternative
Goal 3: Limit alcohol intake to 1 or 2 days per week
Sort Your Sleep Cycle
Our busy schedules can play havoc on our sleep cycles, especially when we stay out late on the weekend. By regulating the times you go to bed and wake up in the morning, your body starts to learn when it’s time for sleep. It may seem harsh giving up your weekend lie-in, but a few weeks in, you’ll be bursting with energy!
Goal 1: Set an alarm 1 hour before bedtime and stick to it
Goal 2: Wake up at the same time every day- even on the weekends
The Right Exercise
Physical activity during the day can help us sleep better at night. The trick is to find a form of exercise that you really enjoy and a time when it suits you best. This could be a morning run or 20 minutes of yoga before bed.
Goal 1: Practice yoga for 20 minutes before bed
Goal 2: Do 30 minutes of exercise every day
Organise your Space
Tidy house, tidy mind is a sentiment we could all do with following more closely. It’s true that a calm, clutter-free space helps us destress and a tidy bedroom can do wonders for our sleep. Whether this means organising your belongings better or transforming your bedroom into a cosy sanctuary- making steps towards clutter-free living is easy when you break it down.
Goal 1: Spend 30 minutes tidying the bedroom every week
Goal 2: Donate 5 unessential items from the house every month
A Better Bedtime Routine
Taking some time out for yourself at the end of the day is a great way to tune back in, relax and prepare your body and mind for bed. The way you do this is completely down to personal preference. It could be meditation, settling down with a good book or having a catch up with your loved ones.
Goal 1: Spend 10 minutes before bed meditating
Goal 2: Swap TV watching for 30 minutes of reading before bed
Goal 3: Catch up with your partner every evening for 20 minutes with no distractions
Finding the Right Mattress
Your journey towards perfect sleep wouldn’t be complete without finding the right mattress to suit your sleeping needs. Whether you’re a side sleeper, a hot sleeper or you share a bed with a partner- these are all considerations to think about when choosing the right sleep surface for you.
Memory foam offers plenty of benefits when it comes to health;
- Allergy relieving
- Soft on joints
- Pressure point relief
- Soothes muscle aches and pains
- Movement absorption
Make 2020 your year of better sleep by browsing our extensive memory foam mattress collection.