2017 has been one for the ages — here’s hoping 2018 brings a healthy, happy year for you and yours. And to get things off on the right foot, we wanted to share a few ideas on ringing in a healthier new year.
At Sleep365, a healthier 2018 starts with better, more restful sleep. Of course, our favorite way to make healthy sleep happen is to lie down every night on a natural Sleep365 luxury mattress that provides just the right amount of support and comfort for you, no matter if your a side, stomach or back sleeper. But there are other ways to make it happen, too. Here are some of our favorites.
Not the manipulative kind where somebody ends up scorned… we’re talking things like brain teasers, word puzzles, and number challenges. Whether it’s a puzzle game on your phone during a bus ride or doing crosswords at night, brain teasers and puzzles have a tendency to exercise those pockets of your brain you may not use as much — satisfying and effectively exhausting your mind so you can more easily shut down when the lights go out.
At bedtime, doing a crossword or challenging yourself to a game of mental gymnastics can go a long way to turning attention away from all the so-called important things in life that keep you awake.
Shocking, we know: exercise wears you out, lowers stress, and combats depression. To enjoy the benefits of a good workout, you don’t have to be that weird guy who’s always at the gym (he’s always staring in the mirror, isn’t he). Just 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise can help your body release stress and toxins and, when it’s time to hit the hay, you’ll be able to hit it hard.
Rock out. (Or, mello with cello.)
Music can help you blow off steam, calm your mind and heart rate, reduce stress, and even induce sleep. Scientists are learning a lot about the healing power of music, and how it can help treat depression. Of course, depending on the time of day, your mood, and your personal preferences, the types of music that may be most beneficial to you will vary. So, no matter the type of music you listen to, just know this: there’s a good chance it’ll help your mood and your body — and that, in turn, will help you feel a little more ready for sleep when bedtime rolls around. Specifically at bedtime, look for soothing, calming music that can really lull you into a relaxing state.
Work those lungs.
Deep, slow breathing can reduce blood pressure and heart rate. Doing a deep breathing exercise a couple times per day can ward off stress and set your body up for restful night. This technique is easy to try: while you’re sitting or lying down, inhale through your nose, counting to ten while you do it. Concentrate on breathing from your belly instead of your chest. Then, exhale slowly through your nose, counting to ten again. Do this about 5 times, or a few more if it’s helpful.
For many of us, devices keep us plugged in at work 24/7. But one of the best things you can do for yourself is separate work and home life. Try unplugging from work at a reasonable hour, to let your mind and body soak in some downtime before bed. And if you can, do the same at lunchtime — whether it’s disconnecting to eat or take a walk, even short breaks throughout the day can keep your body and mind balanced.
Water is, of course, magic. It’s actually a combination of hydrogen and oxygen… but, also magic. It detoxifies, burns calories, and keeps our bodies in balance. Drink enough water on a regular basis, and you’ll reap those rewards all the time. And the healthier your lifestyle, the better sleep you’re likely to have. The common standard is drinking about 8 glasses per day — so use that as your guide. A little more or less, depending on how you’re feeling, may be right for you.
When it comes to bedtime, tone down the water consumption just a little. Drink some water, sure — but be sure not to drink so much that you’ll cause yourself to wake in the night to run to the bathroom.
Whip your kids into shape.
You run all over the place for them; why not make them run a bit, too? One of the greatest causes of kids struggling to sleep at bedtime or waking during the night is they haven’t been as active as they need to be. If you’re a parent, helping your kids make exercise part of their daily life at a young age is invaluable. Plus, when your kids are sleeping well, there’s a better chance that you will, too.
Keep a sleep schedule.
Your circadian rhythm — the body’s internal clock — is surprisingly precise for a thing that doesn’t come with an app. All on its own, nature keeps your body flowing in consistent pattern. When it comes to sleep, your body wants you to keep a regular sleep schedule so your circadian rhythm stays on track.
By going to bed at the same time each night, waking up at the same time each morning, and avoiding the snooze button in the process, your body will stay in sync and naturally allow you to sleep better.
We hope these tips are helpful to you. And happy new year!