2020 is set to be the ‘Year of Sleep’ as the third of a life we spend in bed takes a higher profile than ever before.
With more and more well-being and mental health organisations focusing on the importance of a good night’s rest, even upper-class bible Tatler has called sleeping ‘the new status’ symbol.
For too long we’ve seen sleep regarded as virtually an ‘optional extra’ when it comes to good health, but a growing tide of scientific evidence is proving that it is vital to both our physical and mental well-being.
However, sleeping doesn’t come easy for everyone. And it’s important to remember that not one size fits all when it comes to sleep. Some people need nine hours per night, some function perfectly OK on six hours per night.
Good sleep habits will last a lifetime so why not set the following goals for the new 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-year-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 well being make sure you eat well, move more and sleep better!