2020 is already here, and there’s no better time to reflect on our lifestyle and habits, on everything that we’ve accomplished this year, and on what matters most to us. But above all, it’s a time for new resolutions. Although we all probably have good intentions and hopes for the coming year (and decade), new resolutions are often forgotten about, as forming and sticking to new habits isn’t something easy to do at all. But when it comes to getting shut eye, you should be doing your best to prioritize your sleep and adopt habits which will help make your nights more restful on your way to healthier, more productive days.
According to a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation, good sleepers understand the importance and benefits of a good night’s sleep and make efforts to prioritize their sleep. Sadly, turns out only 10% of American adults prioritize their sleep over other aspects of daily living such as fitness, nutrition, work, social life and hobbies. We say - it’s time to put sleep on top of your priorities this year.
Resist the temptation of TV and screens
Making a change starts with reflecting on our current habits. Whether we like it or not, we live in a time of media overload and endless choices of pre-bedtime activities. Binge-watching has become super popular in recent years, as a lot of us just can’t go to bed before they’ve finished watching the latest episode of their favorite show; at most times, that goes at the expense of sleep. According to a recent survey of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, no less than 88% of US American adults lose sleep due to binge-watching. This number jumps to an astonishing 95% (!) when looking at 18-44 year-olds. According to the study, Americans have also postponed their bedtime to play video games and watch sports; these numbers leave no room for mistakes - prioritizing sleep is a challenge, which can be a serious one even for those who understand the importance of proper nightly rest.
To make the transition to screen-free nights as easy as possible, we recommend making a gradual change. Make a habit of replacing a few nights of binge-watching a week with a relaxing activity before bedtime; if you’re into breathing exercises, practicing yoga or meditation can be a fantastic way to get your mind ready for sleep. Reading is also a great way to get your body prepared for sleep; a study by the University of Sussex found that just half an hour of reading reduces stress levels, which is a major factor in increasing the chances to drift off to sleep and maintain quality sleep throughout the night.
Prepare your bedroom for sleep
One of the most important sleep-hygiene fundamentals is making your bedroom a sleep haven. For that, you’ll need to remove all screens and gadgets from your bedroom. This may sound extreme or hard to do, especially in the age of technology and digitalization, but using your sleep space for sleep and intimacy only is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give to your sleep.
If you’re ready to level up your quest for better sleep, make sure to avoid watching screens all together right before bedtime; the blue light coming from LED screens might limit the body’s natural production of melatonin and as a result alter our natural sleep-wake circadian rhythm which can make it hard to fall asleep and maintain quality sleep. If you have to use your phone close to bedtime, make sure to switch it to ‘dark mode’ to reduce your exposure to blue light.
Your sleep space should be dark, cool and quiet. As the sun sets, the release of melatonin, the hormone of sleep, starts to increase; as a result, we feel more drowsy and are more likely to welcome sleep. Exposure to too much unnatural light during the evening\night time might interfere with our inner clock and make it harder to fall asleep, and that’s why it’s important to make sure our bedroom is light-free. The temperature in the bedroom should be set to an ideal 60-74F, as lower temperatures trigger the body to release more melatonin, making it much easier to fall and remain asleep.
If you live in an area where outsource noise is too loud or hard to control, using white noise may be the answer. Monotone sounds can help mask unwanted sounds during sleep, which can make all the difference between some quality shut-eye and a night of no sleep.
With dayzz sleep app you can test your bedroom environment with a click of a button; measure your bedroom’s noise and light intensity levels and get our feedback to find out how to optimize your sleep space for the best sleep possible. Also, get customized tips to adjust your bedroom’s temperature for sleep, based on your exact location.
From all of us at dayzz, we wish you a happy new year and the best sleep possible, as always!