ZenBev: Six Sleep Resolutions for a more Rested and Productive 2017

Dr. Craig Hudson, MD | December 21, 2016

The New Year is a time for fresh starts. People make resolutions about their health, their finances and about their relationships. It is a time to reflect and consider what improvements they might make to their lives. And if you found that 2016 was a year of feeling groggy through the day and not getting a good rest at night, then 2017 is a perfect year to make some resolutions about your sleep.

Now you cannot simply resolve to get better sleep and expect that to be enough. You must resolve to commit to certain activities which will help you get better sleep.

Here are six sleep resolutions for 2017 that can help you become more rested and more productive in 2017:

1. Go on a technology diet

These days, most of us are tied to our smartphones, tablets and laptops throughout our waking hours. However, the light emitted from these devices interferes with us getting a good night’s sleep. Resolve to put away the technology at least a couple of hours before bedtime.

2. Cut back on the caffeine and alcohol

Who does not love a mid-afternoon latte or an evening nightcap? While it may be enjoyable at the time, both caffeinated and alcoholic beverages can interfere with quality of sleep. Even if you do manage to fall asleep, you may end up waking up not feeling as rested as you would like.

3. Get into a routine

Having a regular bedtime routine will help to let your body know that it is time to sleep. Try to have a regular bedtime. Activities leading up to bedtime may include doing some gentle stretching or yoga, having a relaxing bath or shower, or listening to soft music. Over time, such a routine will make falling asleep easier.

4. Resist the snooze button

You may think that an extra 10 minutes is helping but in fact, it could actually leave you feeling more tired than if you had gotten up the first time. This is because if you fall back asleep, your body may restart the sleep cycle.

If you find that the temptation of the snooze button is too much, try moving your alarm clock to the other side of the room so that you are forced to get up in order to turn it off.

5. Nap the right way

Naps can be great for giving you an extra boost of energy, but there is a right and a wrong way to take them. Power naps should be no more than 30 minutes long. Don’t worry if you cannot fall asleep that fast – it turns out that you can still get the benefits of a nap without actually falling asleep.

6. Get screened for a sleep disorder

If your sleep habits are relatively good and you still do not sleep well, it may be time to consult with a doctor or sleep specialist. There are effective treatments for conditions such as sleep apnea that can help.

Remember, the quality of your sleep can affect every other area of your life. So if your sleep quality is poor, your resolution for 2017 should be to employ these strategies to get a better night’s rest.