Forget Dry January – make this month ‘Sleepanuary’!
Thousands kick off the New Year with plans to improve their health by steering clear of alcohol for January but if abstaining isn’t for you then why not make a different pact to improve your health and wellbeing?
We’re urging you to make January the month that you take sleep seriously. Did you know sleep is one of the fundamental tools for maintaining good physical and mental health?
Yet our recent research shows that almost half of us complain that we don’t get enough sleep.
Not getting enough sleep has risks. Research shows that who average less than six hours sleep a night are at increased risk of problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Lots of factors can be to blame for lack of sleep – stress, worry, kids, diet, health, uncomfortable bed etc.
Good sleep habits will last a lifetime so why not set the following goals this year:
- Make sleep a priority – Don’t scrimp on sleep to fit in extra activities or to save time – now’s the time to put sleep top of your agenda. Being properly rested means you’re clear-headed, more focused and more patient.
- Factor in sufficient wind down time – Experiment with new ways to relax like warm baths with calming scents, quiet soothing music, reading, gentle stretching and yoga.
- Asses your sleeping environment – Make sure the bedroom is cool, quiet, dark and gadget free. If you’re sleeping on old mattress (more than seven years old) then maybe it’s time to look at buying a new one. What you sleep on affects how you sleep – research has shown that a new mattress can increase the amount of sleep you get by 42 minutes.
- Do something about poor quality sleep – If you feel that you’re not sleeping well, or still feeling tired despite getting at least seven hours sleep per night, consider keeping a sleep diary to see what you’ve been doing, what you’ve eaten and when you’ve slept. If problems persist, talk to a health professional.
- Eat well, move more and sleep better – Don’t look at any of these aspects in isolation. If you want to improve health and wellbeing make sure you eat well, move more and sleep better!
Happy New Year!