The new year is a time for reflection and renewal — and for most people, it’s also a time for setting goals. While most wellness goals focus on things like hitting the gym or running each day, a focus on sleep quality could ultimately prove even more important for your overall health and well-being.
Getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night that all adults need — and ensuring that those are “quality” sleep hours — can dramatically improve your physical health, mental focus, and emotional state. When you get enough sleep at night, you will have the energy you need to tackle other life-changing goals.
As you plan for how you can better yourself in the year ahead, consider these goals that can help you get the quality sleep you need to become your best self.
1. Set a Consistent Bedtime
If you go to bed at 9 PM on some nights, but then stay up burning the midnight oil on others, you aren’t doing your body any favors. Inconsistent bedtimes make it difficult for your body to establish a strong sleep-wake cycle. As a result, you might sometimes find yourself lying in bed for an hour or more, unable to fall asleep.
The easiest way to counter this is by setting a goal to go to bed at the same time each night — even on the weekends, and even when you’re crunched at school or work. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps your body “lock in” its circadian rhythm, so you will fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.
One way to make this easier is to start by identifying the time you need to wake up in the morning. Count back eight to nine hours to find your ideal bedtime.
2. Turn Off Electronics
We love our electronics. From TVs to handheld gaming devices to our ever-present smartphones, our electronics seem to go with us almost everywhere — including the bedroom.
Unfortunately, if you’ve developed the habit of bringing your iPhone into the bedroom, you’re probably disrupting your sleep cycles. Electronic devices emit blue light, which messes with the body’s ability to produce the sleep hormone melatonin. Scrolling through your phone before bed could easily keep you from falling asleep at your desired bedtime.
The ideal option is to keep electronics out of the bedroom entirely. If this isn’t an option, set a goal to turn off these devices at least a half hour before bedtime.
3. Improve Your Bedroom Environment
Many people make plans for elaborate renovations that can improve their home. Fortunately, making your bedroom more conducive to restful sleep doesn’t necessarily require a major overhaul — but it does require some commitment!
The ideal sleep environment is dark, quiet, and a comfortable temperature — perfect for relaxing and gently drifting off to sleep. Make it a goal to improve your bedroom in these areas as needed. For example, if outdoor streetlights shine through the window, install blackout curtains. If you live in an apartment with roommates who keep different hours from you, a noise machine could block out any sounds they might make when you’re trying to sleep.
Don’t forget about your bed, either! A comfortable mattress can make all the difference for quality sleep. If your mattress is over seven years old and you consistently wake up with aches and pains, it is likely time for a replacement.
4. Make Healthier Daytime Choices For Sleep
What you do during the day can have a major impact on how well you sleep at night. Exposure to light (especially sunlight) during the day can help normalize your body’s wake-sleep cycle — so set aside some time to go outside! That outside time will be even better if you exercise, as exercise is closely associated with better sleep.
Avoid napping whenever possible. A nap that is too long or too late in the afternoon can make it harder to fall asleep at night. Adjust your schedule as needed so you aren’t tempted to nap!
5. Don’t Delay a Sleep Study, If Needed
Sometimes, even people with the best sleep habits struggle to get a good night’s rest through no fault of their own. It’s estimated that between 50 and 70 million American adults suffer from a sleep disorder such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea.
If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, make an appointment with your doctor to perform a sleep study. During these overnight studies, sleep specialists analyze your brain waves, breathing patterns, heart rate, and more to identify disorders.
Getting a diagnosis — and a recommended treatment plan — will ensure that your other positive habits pay off.
Here’s to Better Sleep in 2022!
There’s no denying how much better we feel after getting a full night’s rest. By making sleep a priority in 2022, you will set yourself up for success in all your other endeavors — from work and family life to fitness goals and creative endeavors. By making these practices part of your sleep goals for 2022, you will be able to more consistently enjoy the high-quality sleep you need.
If you discover that you need a CPAP machine to manage obstructive sleep apnea, No Insurance Medical Supplies can help. With several CPAP machines available at significantly discounted prices off MSRP, as well as available financing, you can get the medical equipment you need without breaking the bank — even if you don’t have insurance.
With healthy sleep habits and the medical equipment to help you sleep soundly, 2022 will be even better than you could have hoped for!