The moment we’ve all been waiting for… the end of 2020! Although the turning over of the calendar year is only ceremonious, that doesn’t mean we can’t start off this new year on the right foot. Many of our new year’s resolutions are health-related because, for most people, a healthier year means a better year. Here are some tips for how you can make this year healthier with a good night’s sleep.
Why Make Sleep a Priority?
Prioritizing sleep is one of the healthiest things you can do. Getting higher quality sleep more often has a noticeable effect on all aspects of your life. From better memory and stress reduction to improved work performance and productivity, sleep is at the heart of good health alongside exercise and nutrition. When you’re sleeping, you’re recovering. Think of your body as a smartphone or laptop – after a day of use, it’s time to recharge. Sleep recharges your body, boosts your immune system, and refreshes your energy to take on the challenges of the next day. Remembering all the benefits of healthy rest can help you stick with your resolution when you feel your will fading.
Set Small Achievements but Big Goals
One of the ways to make sure your sleep resolutions take hold is to start by setting manageable, small goals. Set a goal of trying to get to bed at the same time 3 nights per week, then increase it to 5. Once you achieve that milestone, you can implement other small targets like avoiding email or social media before bed, doing stretches every morning, or avoiding caffeine in the afternoon a few days per week. These small objectives will inform your larger goal: to get higher quality sleep more regularly.
Challenge Friends and Family
Another way to stay motivated is to challenge your friends or family members to join you. Set weekly challenges to see who can get the best average SleepScore for the week. Keep things interesting by offering a prize for the winner – something fun and inexpensive will get you the most out of the challenge without it becoming more about the competition than your health. You’ll all be feeling like winners with the improved sleep!
Involve a Partner
There’s something to be said about personal accountability when a partner, spouse, or someone else you’re close to is actively involved in helping create a new habit. When they, too, are trying to get better sleep, they can help keep you motivated and excited about the goal, and vice versa. Their support can also be good motivation when you want to stay up late, but they know going to bed on time will help you both reach your shared goal together.
Reflect on How Great It Feels to Get Better Rest
It’s important not to lose sight of all the positive results of getting great sleep. On days when you’ve gotten quality rest, take a few moments to reflect on how good you’re feeling. Maybe you feel more mental clarity, can make quicker decisions, and are more productive at work. Or perhaps you feel more energetic with your kids and family and can get more done around the house than normal. Remembering these moments will make it easier to motivate yourself when the urge to dump your healthy sleep resolution for a few extra hours of time awake in the evening kicks in later in the year.
Design Your Environment for Maximum Sleep
Think about other unwanted habits you’ve eliminated in the past. If you’re breaking the habit of smoking cigarettes, you probably don’t want to be at a get together where there will be a lot of smoking. The same can be said about your home environment. By making your home a place that supports great sleep, it’ll help you maintain your resolution. For example, install dimmers on your lights or purchase lights that are specifically designed for building the perfect sleep environment so you can bring down the light in the evening and ease into your sleep cycle. Create a bedroom sanctuary that is perfect for solid rest. You can even equip your bedroom with products like sound machines, snoring solutions, or special types of pillows and blankets to aid your sleep. See our curated assortment of science-backed sleep products to find what works best for you.
Keep the Momentum Going
The first couple of weeks forming any new habit are the toughest. From there, it gets easier and easier. To keep the momentum going, try marking X’s on your calendar, or checking off a daily list of items achieved. The feeling of accomplishing tasks will help keep you on track and excited about your resolution.
New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to stick to, but with a bit of dedication, this is one resolution that can radically improve your overall health. As you make new lifestyle commitments to start 2021 on the right foot, don’t forget the foundation of good health – better sleep!
Happy new year!