Power Up Your New Year With Better Sleep Habits for 2018
It’s the new year, and with that comes all kinds of expectations for how the next year is going to turn out. So what fuels our dreams of the future? Sleep, of course! Besides being the bedrock for any healthy lifestyle, sleep allows us to be our best selves by making sure that our minds our sharp, our empathy is deep, and our bodies are up for any physical or mental challenge that comes our way.
So what can you do to supercharge your sleep and get you the life you want in 2018? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve combed through the internet’s sleep research to find out what’s new, classic, and above all else WORKS to get you out of your sleep slump and back to sleeping like a baby.
Going to Bed Early
You’re probably wondering how to wake up early if you go to sleep late. Our bodies are on a diurnal clock, which means that we actively want to sleep during the evening hours. It can be easy around the holidays to have that sleep schedule get out of whack — there are tons of holiday parties, New Year’s Eve, and general fun to be had, but it’s important to remember that getting to bed early is impossible.
Sleep scientists seem to agree that the best sleep (for the most part) is between the hours of 10pm and 6am. While there is some wiggle room there, these are the times when are brains are best set up to enter deep REM sleep. REM sleep is essential for rejuvenating your mind and body, as it’s the time when your body can replenish vital hormones and chemicals vital to your waking processes. On occasion there are people who do go to bed at odd hours (Benjamin Franklin notably only slept in hour and a half spurts throughout the night) these people are usually the exceptions and not the rule. If you’re waking up cranky and unrested, try scooting your bedtime up an hour or two and see if that can help you.
Avoid Food Before Sleep
Family, friends, and food are all great parts of the holidays, but occasionally that rich food can really put a dinger in our sleep schedule. While it’s OK to enjoy those foods in moderation, oftentimes the holidays can lead to some rough eating habits that can mess with our sleep and give us mild health problems.
Eating too soon before bed has a two-fold effect. First, it’s rough on your digestive system. Sleep isn’t just a time for your mind to refresh and revive itself, it’s also a time for your body’s processes to rest. When you eat before bed, you force your gastrointestinal tract to work overtime as you sleep, this can lead to, uh, discomfort, that can wake you up during the evening. The second problem can be that eating before bed can cause acid reflux, which leads to all sorts of health problems, both long and short term. This is because the body relaxes its muscles during sleep, which allows acid to freely travel back up the esophagus.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to enjoy your sleeping hours! Make time, relax, and enjoy a good night’s sleep. Of course it’s always better when you have a great mattress, so if you feel like that’s eating into your sleep, then give a look around and treat yourself. Sleep should never feel like a chore. Now get out there and enjoy the new you, both in the bed and out of it!