What is a better time than to start on self-improvement than the new year? The new year is the best time to start with a clean slate. This is the new year's resolution you want to achieve in the new year.
New year new you. Stop right there. Why not a new year, a better you?
Vita Talalay shall help you to become a better version of yourself. The year 2016 might have been a year of many sleepless nights. Therefore, we present to you the best new year’s resolution: sleeping better.
Before we explain exactly why this is the best new year’s resolution, you will be taken on a journey. This article will review the history of new year’s resolution, why you should adopt this new year’s resolution, and how to achieve the best new year’s resolutions.
The History Of New Year's Resolutions
The origins of new year’s resolutions lie around 400 years ago. At that time, the Babylonians held an 11-day festival to celebrate the new year. During this time of celebration, the Babylonians reportedly made promises to the gods to give back what they had taken in the current year. They made these promises hoping that they would earn good favor in the upcoming year.
Nowadays, rather than making promises to the gods, we make them to ourselves. One other thing that has changed is the focus of the promise. In modern days the focus of the new year’s resolution is often on self-improvement instead of on external factors.
Top 10 New Year's Resolutions
Everybody thinks immediately of weight loss goals when they are struck with new year’s resolutions. It is therefore more than just logical that weight loss has a place in the top 10 most common new year’s resolutions. According to a poll of 2015 these were the most common new year’s resolutions for 2016:
- Lose weight
Weight loss is one of the most common new year’s resolutions
- Spend less save more
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Stay fit and healthy
- Learn something exciting
- Quit smoking
- Help others in their dream
- Fall in love
- Spend more time with family
The fact that better sleep does not even have a place in the top 10 new year’s resolutions list only shows that it isn’t something that individuals wish to improve. Sleep is one of the most important requirements of your day. Too often sleep is the one factor that is “undervalued”. Whether you choose to sleep less to study, watch a movie or another episode, read one more chapter, or work, everyone is guilty of cutting down on sleep at least a couple of times a year. However, there are a lot of individuals that don’t get the required amount of sleep on a daily basis. Cutting down on sleep seems harmless, but it can impact your life on a bigger scale.
During sleep your body goes through several phases to repair muscles, combine all your memories, and control your growth and appetite hormones. Without the right quantity and quality sleep, you will be less able to make proper decisions, engage in activities, and concentrate. Also, you will feel moody and less energized than you would have been with better sleep.
In addition, for most of the common new year’s resolutions, sleep is an underlying factor. By taking better sleep as your new year’s resolution, your success in achieving other new year’s resolutions are doubled. If you wish to lose some weight or to stay fit and healthy, add better sleep to your agenda. By sleeping better, you will be more motivated and energized to do some exercises. Besides the increased motivation and energy, your body will regulate your appetite hormones better. These regulated appetite hormones are playing a major role in your feelings of fullness and hunger.
As stated before, better sleep will increase your mood. Without being crabby, it will be easier to enjoy your day. By enjoying your day you’re one step closer to enjoying your life to the fullest– number 4 of the most common new year’s resolutions.
If you want to learn something exciting– number 6 of the most common new year’s resolutions– sleep will help you remember what you have learned. As stated earlier, during sleep your memories are combined and they are “put” in your long-term memory. Also, better sleep will help you learn something efficiently. For example, if you have two persons, one is sleep deprived and the other is well rested. If you teach them something, the one that is sleep deprived will not be able to focus. The other, the one that is well rested, will be able to focus more optimally.
Trying to quit smoking– number 7 of most common new year’s resolutions– is most of the times impaired with insomnia. When you have insomnia it is most certain that sleeping better will be the best new year’s resolution. However, better sleep is not achieved that easily.
How To Sleep Better
If you have taken the best new year’s resolution, better sleep, as your new goal then follow the guidelines. The guidelines are mostly focused on how to sleep better and therefore creating a good sleep hygiene. Maintaining good sleep hygiene practices promotes healthy sleep and daytime alertness.
1. Regular sleep and wake times.
This means creating a sleep schedule, consistency is key. Make sure that your sleep schedule is created in such a way that it is possible for you to wake up and sleep at the same time. In other words, you should sleep and wake up at the same time on weekdays, weekends, and holidays. If your sleep and wake times are completely different than usual, shift gradually. Shift your sleep and wake times by 15 minutes every week until you have reached your desired bedtime.
2. Bedtime routine.
By repeating your bedtime routine every day your body recognizes that it is almost bedtime. Having a good night’s rest starts a couple of hours before bedtime. Create a bedtime routine that is both calming and relaxing, but at the same time prepares you for your sleep. Your bedtime routine can include taking a hot bath or shower, reading a book, winding down, sleep exercises, or drinking some warm milk.
3. Use your bed only for sleep and sex.
The key here is to associate your bed with sleep, and not wakefulness. This means, that you shouldn’t work, read, or watch TV in your bed. If you use your bed only for sleep, your brain will link your bed to sleep, then you will sleep better and fall asleep faster.
4. Shut down your electronics.
Turn off your electronics at least an hour before going to bed. The blue light from your electronics decreases the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps you control your sleep and wake cycles. Even if you are using a blue light filter on your electronics it is better to take a step back from them.
5. Limit your food intake.
Eating something before bed can disrupt your sleep. Especially avoid eating large meals before bed, because it can cause a sleepless night. However, there are some foods that promote sleep. Some of these foods are bananas, walnuts, and milk.
6. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
It is logical that drinking a caffeinated drink before bed will keep you wide awake. Caffeine stays up to 6 hours in our body. Therefore, you should limit your caffeine intake up to 6 hours before your bedtime. Consuming alcohol might put you easier to sleep, but it does not help you sleep better. Consuming alcohol and sleep apnea and insomnia can be related to each other.
7. Exercise during the day.
A person who exercises regularly sleeps better and feel less tired during the day. Try to finish moderate to intense exercise at least 3 hours before your bedtime.
8. Avoid taking naps.
Naps can mess up your sleep and wake cycle. If you are in need of some sleep take a power nap, a 25-minute nap, and take this nap before 3 pm.
Create The Perfect Sleep Environment
The section “how to sleep better”, discussed what you could do before your bedtime to get
some quality sleep. However, the environment you sleep in affects whether you get quality sleep or not. Therefore, creating the perfect sleep environment is an essential part of your new year’s resolution.
1. Keep the temperature cool.
Temperatures between 16°C-19°C (60°F-67°F) are optimal for sleeping. When your room is cool it will be much easier to fall asleep. Set your home temperature control system lower in the evening.
2. Limit noise.
Noise can be extremely annoying when you are trying to sleep. Noise can also disrupt your sleep. Limit the noise for that reason as much as possible.
3. Limit light exposure.
Light regulates your sleep and wake cycle. Exposure to light in the night can disrupt your sleep. To limit outdoor lights, use blackout curtains. Another way you could restrict light exposure is using some dim lights and a sleep mask.
4. Regularly change your bedding.
It is necessary to change your bedding frequently, as you shed dead skin cells, perspire natural oils and sweat. Sleeping for a long time with the same sheets, means that dust mites can keep feeding themselves. Washing your sheets and pillowcases in hot water will help you get rid of dust mites.
5. Invest in your bed.
You are sleeping 1/3 of your life. Having a quality mattress is one of the first necessities for optimizing your good night’s rest. If your mattress prevents you from sleeping it could cause you to feel drowsy during the day. You should change your mattress every 5 to 10 years, if you have a good mattress replace it after 9-10 years. However, if you aren’t sleeping well consider replacing your mattress after 5 to 7 years. If your mattress is older than 10 years, stop what you’re doing right now and go on a hunt for a perfect mattress that fits your needs. A Vita Talalay latex quality mattress might just be what you need to sleep better.
6. Replace your pillow.
You should replace your pillow every 1 to 3 years depending on the material. Using your pillow for too long might flatten it out, and become the home of numerous dust mites. Consider buying a Talalay latex pillow, because of the open cellular structure of the Talalay latex dust mites have less room to live. When you are looking for a new pillow take your sleeping position into consideration. Back sleepers need thin pillows, side sleepers need firm pillows, and stomach sleepers need almost flat pillows.