New year, new you! Resolutions to help you sleep better

It’s that time of year again – when we make a promise to ourselves that we’ll finally hit the gym, watch less television, lose weight, or spend more time with friends and family. But have you ever considered making a new year’s resolution that includes getting better sleep?

More than 40% of Kiwis do not get enough sleep to feel refreshed and capable of performing at their best. The average amount of sleep for an adult is roughly seven hours, with only 8% of people getting more than nine hours.

This holiday season is the perfect time to get rid of your alarm clock and consider making getting better sleep as part of your new year’s resolution.

You’ll be surprised by the benefits more sleep may have on things like your memory, your work performance and even your waistline.

Keep reading below to find out why you should consider sleep as part of your new year’s resolutions for 2022.

Why sleep can help you stick to your resolutions

Most of us make a new year’s Resolution every year. Even if you don’t make goals, you’re undoubtedly making mental notes to live a better, healthier, and happier life in 2022.

Gyms, weight-loss organisations, and stop-smoking programmes are overwhelmed with Kiwis who have made pledges to get healthy or quit their vices at the start of each year.

Despite a promising start to the year, approximately 90% of people fail to keep their resolutions by the end of January (Piper, 2019).

Along with exercise and diet, sleep is one of the three pillars of health, but fatigue can contribute to lack of exercise, as well as increased appetite (particularly for junk food). If you’re planning on improving your diet or exercise habits as part of a new year’s resolution, changing your sleep habits in the new year may help.

Should sleep be one of your new year’s resolutions in 2022

In recent years, there’s been a rising trend towards new year’s resolutions amongst New Zealanders.

The start of a new decade back in 2020 saw stronger resolve from the New Zealand population, with 29 percent of Kiwis announcing at least one new year’s resolution, compared to only 20 percent in 2019, according to a survey conducted by NZ Compare.

Despite their best intentions, the average Kiwi still needs help with their new year’s resolutions. When asked which of the most popular resolutions they would like assistance, most Kwis said they wanted help with keeping their exercise and healthy diet resolutions on track.

This list shows popular new year’s resolutions amongst New Zealanders.

1. Eating a healthier diet

2. Exercising more

3. Saving money

4. Working on the house (e.g. organising, decluttering, etc.)

5. Spending time with family/friends

6. Travel

7. Progress in career

8. Learn a new skill/hobby

9. Making a budget or improving it

10. Something else

11. Cutting down on alcohol

12. Invest in the stock market

13. Looking for better deals on household bills, expenses, etc.

14. Quit smoking

You can see that sleep, didn’t make the list!

We at Sleepyhead would love to help more Kiwis to make sleep a part of their new year’s resolution for 2022, especially since it can improve so many aspects of your life.

Sleep makes us healthier

Did you realise there’s a link between sleep and nutrition?

Diets heavy in saturated fat and poor in fibre, for example, may reduce the amount of deep, restorative sleep you experience. You may wake up more frequently if you

consume too much sweets. Certain meals and beverages consumed close to night might also contribute to poor sleep.

If you’re having difficulties falling and staying asleep, it’s possible that your eating and drinking habits are to blame. Your desire or capacity to maintain a healthy lifestyle may be harmed by a lack of sleep, however the relationship between weight increase and obesity and short sleep patterns is not entirely evident, although Obesity and poor sleep patterns have been connected in a number of research throughout the years.

In the same way that getting a good night’s sleep may help you gain weight, obtaining a good night’s sleep can help you consume less calories throughout the day. Being sleep deprived stimulates the production of a hormone called ghrelin, which increases your appetite and can cause you to eat an extra 300 calories a day. Sleep deprived people also crave foods that are rich in fat and carbohydrates. To find out more about weight gain and sleep, check out our Sleepyhead blog ‘Is poor sleep the reason for your weight gain’.

So, if part of the Kiwi’s whose new year’s resolution is to lose weight, getting more sleep will definitely help.

Sleep helps us exercise

Sleep is an essential component to any exercise program that many people overlook. It’s likely that your diet and exercise will deteriorate if you don’t get enough sleep each night (Vitale et al., 2019).

A good night’s sleep provides a number of benefits. To begin with, while you sleep, your body gets the time it requires to restore itself (Krueger et al., 2016). Second, this replenishment gives you the energy you need for the next day. Since sleep is so important for muscle growth, healing, and disease prevention it’s crucial for athletes, as well as anybody striving to improve their strength.

If you’re interested to find out how sleep can also help you sleep, check out this Sleepyhead Sleep Guide: How exercise can help you sleep.

Sleep makes us happier

Have you ever heard the expression “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed”? It’s a well-known phrase that’s often used to describe someone who’s irritable and grumpy! Although they aren’t particularly irritable since they awoke on the wrong side of the bed, their look indicates that they are tired from not getting enough sleep.

Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in negative emotions (anger, irritation, impatience, and melancholy) and a reduction in happy moods, according to study. In depression and anxiety disorders, sleep deprivation is a common symptom. It can also increase the likelihood of developing mental diseases, as well as contributing to them (Mood and sleep – Better Health Channel, 2021).

Anxiety is the most frequent mental health condition in New Zealand, with over 200,000 people suffering from it.

Sleep is one of the body’s natural anxiety-relieving strategies. Our mind and body relax when we sleep, allowing us to be sharper the next day and better prepared to deal with life’s demands and challenges. It’s almost paradoxical, though, that anxiety may make sleeping more difficult. Sleep issues are very frequent in people who are under a lot of stress, and they can actually start a loop that makes it more difficult to overcome worry in the future. You can read more about the link between anxiety and sleep here.

It will be much simpler to stick to your new year’s resolutions if you’re in a better mood.

Sleep Makes Us Smarter

The prefrontal cortex in our brain may be thought of as the engine that propels our best performance (ABC, 2018). High-level functioning includes our ability to set and keep to goals, our ability to focus, our logical thinking, and our decision-making abilities. If our brain’s engine doesn’t have a chance to rest, it might start to backfire — literally!

To put it another way, if you’re having trouble being disciplined, making poor decisions, or if your willpower isn’t cutting it, it might be time to add more sleep to your new year’s resolution list.

New year’s resolutions require sleep to be successful

If you want to enhance your sleep as part of your new year’s resolutions for 2022, you may want to start by making tiny changes to your sleeping patterns.

These tips below will help you obtain the proper amount of sleep and enhance the quality of your sleep. They will also benefit your physical and emotional well-being.

Follow a routine: Following a bedtime routine can assist in the development of a habit that signals to your brain and body that it is time to retire. A consistent bedtime routine has also been demonstrated to assist new moms enhance their happiness and their child’s sleep

Limit your caffeine intake: Limit yourself to two cups of coffee, tea, or other caffeinated beverages each day, ideally before midday.

Keep off your phone: The blue light generated by your phone and other electronic gadgets can interfere with your body’s normal sleep reaction at night.

Reduce your alcohol: Limit yourself to no more than 1-2 standard drinks each day. Although alcohol has a calming effect and can help you fall asleep, it frequently leads to waking up in the middle of the night and disordered sleep.

Keep a cool sleeping environment: Try to keep your bedroom temperature at 18 degrees and wear loose-fitting clothing if you can. If it doesn’t work, you might want to look into Sleepyhead beds with Kulkote. Choosing the right mattress to suit your body temperature as well as that of your significant other can be tough. We’ve found a technology out of the US that could help and it’s called KülKōte. It’s the same innovation that’s used in spacesuits to regulate an astronaut’s body temperature. The technology has been integrated into some of our mattresses and bedding, which means the surface of your bed or pillow pulls heat away from your body. You can read more about Kulkote here.

Run yourself a warm bath: Many people find that unwinding in a warm bath or shower before bed helps to calm their mind and body.

Find your perfect bed: Finding the right bed to match your own needs can help improve your quality of sleep. For example, Sleepyhead’s Classic range of mattresses is designed to provide a comfortable and affordable night’s sleep for those looking for a great value, quality bed that will stand the test of time.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep with Sleepyhead

As we now know, sleep is important to the success of your new year’s resolutions. Sleepyhead has developed a wide range of advanced technologies to create excellent mattresses in Australia to ensure the most comfortable and supportive sleep possible. Why not take our Sleep Selector Quiz to find the best mattress for you, or check out our list of retailers to find a store close to you.

References

Matters, S., 2018. Sleep Matters. [online] Catalyst. Available at: <https://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/sleep-matters/11017328> [Accessed 9 November 2021].

NZ Compare. 2020. THE RESOLUTE KIWI: NEW DECADE SEES A RISE IN NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS. [online] Available at: <https://www.nzcompare.com/pr/kiwis-new-decade-new-year-resolution> [Accessed 8 December 2021].

Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. 2021. Mood and sleep – Better Health Channel. [online] Available at: <https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/Mood-and-sleep> [Accessed 21 October 2021].

Krueger, J. M., Frank, M. G., Wisor, J. P., & Roy, S. (2016). Sleep function: Toward elucidating an enigma. Sleep Med Rev., 28, 46–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2015.08.005.

Piper, D., 2019. New Year’s resolutions: Experts’ tips for making one and sticking to it. [online] Stuff. Available at: <https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/motivate-me/118185391/new-years-resolutions-experts-tips-for-making-one-and-sticking-to-it> [Accessed 13 December 2021].

Vitale, K. C., Owens, R., Hopkins, S. R., & Malhotra, A. (2019). Sleep Hygiene for Optimizing Recovery in Athletes: Review and Recommendations. Int J Sports Medicine, 40(8). https://doi.org/10.1055/a-0905-3103

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