The start of a new year is a time when we set a variety of goals to improve our lives. And while most people’s goals seem to involve eating a healthier diet or going to the gym more often, improving your sleep quality could improve equally important for a healthy 2022.
By taking healthy, actionable steps to improve your sleep quality, you will enjoy better physical, mental, and emotional health. Consistently getting a good night’s rest will help you feel better and have the energy you need to tackle your other resolutions.
Without further ado, here are some important goals you should consider setting to enjoy better sleep in the year to come.
1. Put Away Your Phone
Far too many of us have slipped into the habit of browsing through our phones before going to bed. While this may seem like a harmless habit, so much exposure to blue light can make it much harder to go to sleep. Smartphones, iPads, and TVs emit blue light, which has been found to significantly suppress the body’s production of melatonin (the hormone that helps you fall asleep).
Scrolling through your phone for 15 minutes could be enough to keep you lying awake in bed for another hour afterwards. Try to put your phone away two or three hours before bedtime. Consider placing it in another room to charge at night so you won’t be tempted to check it while in bed.
2. Establish a Consistent Bedtime
Most people follow a fairly consistent routine when it comes to work and other activities. They get to work the same time each morning. They may even have a set time to go to the gym to try to stick with their exercise goals.
As it turns out, following a consistent schedule for your bedtime and wakeup time can help with your sleep goals, too. By going to bed at the same time each night, you train your body to know when it is time to go to sleep. Your body will naturally begin to increase its melatonin production around this time so you can fall asleep quickly.
Try to follow this routine every night, even on weekends. Don’t give in to the temptation to binge watch another episode of your favorite Netflix show.
3. Watch What You Eat & Drink Before Bed
What you put into your body before bedtime can have a major impact on your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you consume a heavy meal close to bedtime, you may struggle to fall asleep as your body diverts its energy to the digestion process.
You should be especially careful to avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime. Caffeine can provide a jolt of energy that lasts for hours, making it nearly impossible to fall asleep. While drinking alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, it can dramatically lower sleep quality and increase your risk for obstructive sleep apnea. While you may fall asleep quickly, you will still wake up feeling tired.
4. Find a Way to Relax and Unwind
The activities you participate in before going to bed can either help you relax and unwind, or they can leave you wound up and in no mood for sleep. As part of your goal to establish better sleeping habits, it may be helpful to look at changes you could make to your pre-bedtime routine so you can be in a more relaxed, “sleep-ready” frame of mind.
For example, many people take a warm bath or shower to unwind at the end of the day. In addition to being mentally soothing, getting out of a warm bath will cause your body temperature to drop, mimicking the process that naturally occurs when you go to sleep. As a result, your body will be more ready for sleep. Other people benefit from writing in a journal at the end of the day. This helps them focus and digest their thoughts so they don’t lie awake with a racing mind later.
5. Get Tested For Sleep Disorders
If you’ve already established healthy sleep habits but still never seem to get enough rest, it’s time to take your sleep resolutions to the next level by scheduling a sleep study. Your ongoing troubles could be the result of sleep apnea, insomnia, or another disorder that prevents you from getting restful sleep.
During a sleep study, specialists monitor your heart rate, breathing, brainwaves, and other vital signs over the course of the night. These readings help them determine if you have a sleep disorder. This information enables them to provide a treatment plan based on the type and severity of your condition.
Here’s to Better Sleep in 2022!
There’s no telling what the coming year has in store — for good and ill. While there are always plenty of things that are beyond your control, you can take decisive steps to sleep better so you can face whatever comes your way.
Of course, if you discover that you need a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea, you might be concerned with how you will pay for this medical equipment — particularly if you don’t have good insurance coverage. This is where Help Medical Supplies comes in. With discounted prices on products from ResMed and other leading CPAP manufacturers, as well as free shipping on orders of $89 or more and available financing, getting the medical equipment you need doesn’t have to result in financial stress.
With healthier sleep habits and a quality CPAP machine, 2022 could be the year you get the best sleep of your life!