Major lifestyle changes can be intimidating, especially when it comes to the amount – and quality – of your sleep. If you’ve been sleeping for just a few hours per night for years, or if you have suspected a sleep problem for a long time, it may initially seem that revamping a lifetime of poor sleeping habits is a big undertaking.
But this doesn’t have to be the case! As it turns out, there are a series of small and fairly easy things you can do today to reset your sleeping mindset, and to adapt a new sleeping routine that benefits you in every way, from your brain power to your daily energy levels.
So if you want to discard bad sleeping habits and switch to a healthy sleep schedule of roughly eight hours of quality rest per night, keep the following steps in mind to alter your sleep routine in just a week’s time.
Often, people miss out on sleep because it seems like there are so many other important tasks at hand – like work, projects at home, or other activities that simply take priority.
But sleep makes you more likely to make smart decisions, more productive, and more energized to get things done.
So your first step in improving your rest should be to remember how important sleep is for your overall health! By making sleep your top priority, you’ll be more likely to stick to any sleep-routine changes in the future, no matter how pressing the tasks of the day may initially appear.
Do you snore regularly, or get a good amount of rest but are still tired?
Obstructive sleep apnea may be to blame.
This widely common condition can wreak havoc on your sleep quality, and can make you feel exhausted even if you’re getting the recommended eight hours of rest per night.
The good news is: determining if you have sleep apnea is easier than ever, thanks to at-home tests which quickly identify a potential issue in just a night or two. So get tested, and take a big step towards improving your sleep in just a couple of days’ time.
It’s natural to stay up later on weekends, or get up earlier on weekdays, but this fluctuation in your sleeping schedule can actually do a lot of damage.
In fact, a rotating sleeping routine is akin to jet lag, as your body’s circadian rhythms can’t keep up with the discrepancies in your bedtimes and wake-up times.
So address this problem by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. After just a few days of a routine sleep schedule, you’ll notice your energy levels – and your ability to rest – start to rise.
“Dry January,” which is a full month without alcohol, is a big trend for 2019, and as it turns out, this resolution can help your sleeping habits as well!
Alcohol can be detrimental for your rest, as even though it may help you fall asleep faster, you are far more likely to wake up in the middle of the night, and not reach the deep stages of sleep your body and brain need to feel fully rested.
By abstaining from the nightly cocktails, you’ll inherently have a better opportunity to get the rest you need.
Your environment has a big impact on how well you sleep, and if you use your bedroom as an at-home office, living area, dining area, or exercise spot, then chances are you won’t be able to sleep well.
This is because your brain will naturally identify your bedroom as a multi-tasking destination, as opposed to a place to actually relax and rest.
So spend an afternoon cleaning up your bedroom, and removing the excess clutter and equipment that can distract you from catching the Zzzzs you need. By only using your bedroom for sleep, you’ll condition your brain – and body – to respond properly.
We are dependent on our cell phones, tablets, computers, and televisions to stay connected with the world, but your electronic use before bedtime can interfere with your circadian rhythms, and your ability to fall and stay asleep.
Instead, make an internal resolution to avoid the screens roughly an hour before bedtime to ensure that you can rest without the excess distractions.
When it comes down to it, it only takes a few small changes to reset your sleeping mindset! So start the New Year with a couple sleep alterations or renovations, and enjoy ample stress-free rest that your brain and body will thank you for in the years to come.