Should sleep be a main priority for your healthy living goals?
Let’s put lockdowns and infection rates to the side for a while.
The new year may not have started how we all hoped, but it still brings fresh starts and an opportunity to take on healthy living goals for a better year ahead.
One goal we highly recommend for an overall healthier and happier you is a simple sleep goal – sleep better in 2021.
Why should sleeping better be your (only) new year’s healthy living goal?
According to a YouGov poll last year, the three most common new year’s resolutions in the UK were improving fitness, diet, and losing weight.
But there is one area many neglect when straining for these goals and that might just be why many fail to see results.
And that is sleep.
Sleep is linked to more areas in our life than we think. It is essential for optimal health; a good night’s sleep has the power to make you physically, mentally and emotionally healthier. However, people are sleeping less hours and catching poorer sleep now than in the past.
It’s time to claim back sleep!
How to improve sleep quality and sleep better?
That is the key question - how do you sleep better and ensure you wake up each morning well-rested and restored?
There are various things you can do to better your sleep and so harvest the benefits of quality sleep.
Make smarter dietary choices
Many vow to lose the turkey weight (and then some) as their new year’s resolution for healthier living. But did you know poor sleep is often a culprit for weight gain? Research indicates that sleep deprivation can increase appetite, reduce resting metabolic rate, and make reaching for the cookie jar much more tempting.
What you eat affects sleep quality too. A diet high in saturated fats and sugar, but low on fibre can make you sleep lighter and make your sleep less restorative.
Adding more vegetables in your meals, replacing calorie-heavy treats with fruits, and swapping white carbs to wholemeal will support healthy living and have a positive impact on your sleep.
Exercise is one of the best ways to improve sleep. And if you’ve made resolutions for better fitness and losing weight – it’s a real buy one, get two free bargain!
Experts say partaking in moderate aerobic exercise aids in falling asleep faster and boosts the time spent in deep sleep.
On the flip side, without sleep, you won’t reap the benefits of exercise either. It is during sleep when your body recovers, conserves energy, and repairs and builds up those muscles you’ve been working so hard at the gym.
Simple things like enjoying a lunchtime walk or taking the stairs are easy ways to add a few more steps to your step count. Just remember, don’t exercise too close to bedtime!
Consider the effects of your lifestyle
Alcohol and caffeine, an inconsistent bedtime routine, irregular sleeping hours, and even technology can harm your sleep by making it harder for you to fall asleep, as well as influencing how well you sleep.
Watch your alcohol and coffee intake in the evenings, add calming rituals like sleep meditation to your bedtime routine, and try to reduce blue light (light emitted from smartphones etc.) before bedtime.
Lighting up essential oils or listening to classical music can help calm you and switch off from the day’s stresses.
Assess your sleeping environment
Have a look around your sleeping space. What is the lighting like? Is it too noisy? How is the temperature? And most importantly, when you lie down on the bed does it make you go more ‘ugh’ than ‘ahh’? If so, it’s time to get a new quality mattress!
At Lea Mattress, we know a mattress can make or break your sleep. That is why our Premium Mattress and our Ergonomic Plus Mattress have been scientifically designed to be supportive while not compromising on comfort. With excellent spinal support, hard-wearing quality and superior comfort, this year’s healthy living goal for better sleep is going to be a piece of cake…!