So this year instead of making a resolution why not choose a word that will guide you through the forthcoming year. And there’s no better word to choose than ‘Sleep’.
We all do it, but nearly half of us don’t do it well. And with those kinds of figures, it’s no surprise that many of you have probably made the decision to sleep better in 2014.
Whether you sleep well or not, sleep is essential to our health and wellbeing. Without it we’re not much good at doing anything else – our health suffers, our love life suffers, work suffers and the list goes on.
So I task you with the idea of looking at your sleep. And not just focusing on how much sleep you get. There are concerns out there that we are worrying needlessly about the amount of sleep we’re getting and whether this undue stress and anxiety is making our sleep problems worse.
Yes it’s important to ensure you get enough but it’s also about the quality of sleep you get. Why not try going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, all the time – you’ll be amazed at how your body will love you for it.
Try new ideas in the bedroom – think curtains, lighting etc – to make it the ideal sleeping environment. Your bedroom should be kept for rest and sleep so if you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep, consider removing gadgets (TVs, tablets, phones) from the room.
Seek out ways to improve your lifestyle. Overhaul your diet, caffeine consumption and exercise regime. Small changes can have a huge impact on your sleep quality and quantity.
But also bear this word in mind in the hours before bed. Experiment with new ways to relax like warm baths with calming scents, quiet soothing music, reading, gentle stretching and yoga.
Why not keep a sleep diary? If you find dropping off hard, it may be interesting to see what you’ve been doing, what you’ve eaten, where you’ve slept on the days you sleep and don’t sleep well. It could help in finding the answers to some of your questions.
And lastly think about what you’re sleeping on. If you’re sleeping on an 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.
What do you think to our word of the year? Any other ideas for what you could do with the word ‘sleep’?