For many Brits, the new year presents an opportunity for a fresh start and that can often mean considering ways we can improve our health through eating better and getting more exercise.
However, sleep is also recognised as a major cornerstone of our overall wellbeing, with those who enjoy consistently good sleep generally leading healthier and happier lives.
With this in mind, The Sleep Charity has revealed its top five new year’s resolutions that anybody can follow to improve their quality of sleep.
- Get out bed – Yes, really. If you’re struggling to nod off, then don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again – then go back to bed.
- Keep a sleep diary – Did you sleep well last night? Make a note of what you ate, what you did and what time you turned in. Sleep badly? Do the same. You’ll eventually build a picture of what works for you and what doesn’t
- Get a dimmer – Harsh lighting in your bedroom before bed can disrupt your natural body clock and limit melatonin production, which makes you feel less sleepy, and reduces your chances of nodding off. Use a dimmer or a lamp to reduce the impact.
- Start writing lists – Often it is the worry and stress of tomorrow’s challenges that keeps us awake at night. Before you go to bed, make a list of what you need to achieve the following day. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it will put your mind at rest.
- Don’t sleep in – Yes, this is the hard one. It’s never not going to be tempting to sleep in on a Saturday or Sunday following a hard week at work, but by getting up and going to bed at roughly the same time every day, you can develop a fantastic sleeping habit.
The Sleep Charity, incorporating The Sleep Council, provides advice and support to empower the nation to sleep better.
A recent survey conducted by The Sleep Charity found that those aged 45-54 are the nation’s worst sleepers, with 34% experience 12 or more bad nights’ sleep a month, with those aged 25-34 the nation’s soundest snoozers.
The Sleep Charity deputy CEO Lisa Artis said: “Making new year’s resolutions can be a fantastic tool for improving your health, wellbeing and overall enjoyment of life.
“We strongly believe in the power of a good night’s sleep as a part of that and we want everybody to share our vision that sleep is a vital component of living a happy life.
“We hope our latest new year’s tips empower more people than ever to build a better relationship with sleep.”
If you’d like to talk about your sleep, you can call the National Sleep Helpline between 7pm and 9pm, Sunday to Thursday on 03303 530 541.