This is part of our resolutions series. Want to see more? Head here to see all of our advice for creating a healthier you.
Sleep is essential to life. You can’t function on a daily basis when you don’t get the shut-eye you need — and you can really harm yourself in the long run. Here are our top tips to help you get your zzz’s:
- Keep your bedroom dark and quiet
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine, free of distractions like TV, computer, and phone screens
- Get daily exercise, but not right before bed
- Don’t eat a big meal within hours of bedtime
- Keep a regular sleeping schedule
- Refrain from taking naps and sleeping in on weekends
Dr. Sheri Pruitt, a clinical psychologist at Kaiser Permanente, recommends using the SMART method to help you stick to any resolution. Here’s how you can use it to help you count sheep:
SET achievable and measurable goals. Try to get to bed 10 minutes earlier or practice better sleep hygiene by shutting off your phone 30 minutes before you hit the hay.
MONITOR your progress. Create a sleep journal — or record one using a sleep app. When you monitor your sleep with hard data, you can have a better picture of when you are making progress — and when you are falling behind.
ARRANGE your life for success. Buy blackout curtains and earplugs so you can really settle in at night. Avoid late-in-the-day coffee that’ll keep you awake all night.
RECRUIT help. Get your spouse on the same sleep schedule so you’re headed to bed at the same time. And let the world know you are taking this step for your health by sharing the graphic below.
TREAT yourself. If you are getting your eight hours of zzz’s, buy some new bedding so you can relax even more. A little reward is positive reinforcement to keep you going down the road to healthy sleep habits.
It’s hard to go it alone — so take a moment to RECRUIT some help. Share your resolution with friends and family so they can help you stick with it: