Home Health & Wellness How to Sleep Better in 2023, According to an Expert

How to Sleep Better in 2023, According to an Expert

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Whilst many people make New Year’s resolutions regarding healthy eating and exercising, not many people prioritise their sleep which can undermine all of their other efforts.

Did you know that nearly three-quarters (71%) of Brits don’t get enough sleep?

To help highlight the importance of getting enough shut-eye, Martin Seeley, the CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay has shared the implications of being sleep-deprived, before sharing his top tips for sleeping better. 

Why should you prioritise sleep in the new year?

When you don’t get enough sleep, it can affect your short-term memory, concentration, and mood as well as your long-term health. The most common symptom associated with lack of sleep is feeling tired during the day. But there are many more symptoms that may be linked to sleeplessness and they can vary from person to person. For example: 

  • Lack of alertness
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, which can make driving dangerous
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things, which can affect your ability to think, remember and process information
  • Feeling depressed or anxious 
  • Feeling moody, which can cause stress in your relationships
  • Feeling restless during sleep or waking up frequently during the night 

To help you enter the New Year with the best intentions, Martin Seeley has shared his tips on how to sleep better:

Take your sleep seriously

Sleep is one of the most important things in life. It’s necessary for healthy brain function and resilience, and it can even help you lose weight and live longer. So if you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s likely because you don’t prioritise it as much as other aspects of your life. But taking care of yourself and making time for rest will pay off in spades over time; so try to make sleep a priority every single night.

Turn your electronics off at least an hour before your bedtime 

The blue light from electronic screens has a negative impact on your circadian rhythm and melatonin production, which can disrupt your sleep cycle. It’s best if you stop using any electronics at least an hour before bedtime, including laptops, television and smartphones. If you have trouble falling asleep without checking your phone every few minutes or watching TV before bed, try downloading an app like Twilight or Light Timer (for iOS) to limit screen time during the evening.

If you wake up in the middle of the night, try this meditative technique 

As you’ll know, bright lights can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin and can stimulate wakefulness, which is not what you want in the middle of the night. What’s more, seeing the time on your phone will lead to you subconsciously working out how many hours until you need to be awake, which will make you more anxious and keep you awake for longer.

If you’re still struggling to sleep, try this meditative technique, otherwise known as a full-body scan. Simply close your eyes and breathe slowly. Next, focus on your face and think about relaxing each of the muscles in your face. After thirty seconds to a minute, move onto your neck and do the same thing for thirty seconds. Then your shoulders, and then your arms. Essentially, you want to relax every muscle until you make your way down to your feet.

Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends

One of the easiest ways to ensure that you’re getting enough sleep at night is to set an alarm every morning and stick with it. If you find yourself waking up early one day but sleeping in late another day, it can be hard to get back into a rhythm with your sleep schedule. By setting an alarm every single day and going to bed at the same time every night (which will help you wake up at the same time), you’ll be able to maintain a healthy pattern of restorative sleep without having to worry about missing out on important hours during the week or staying up too late during weekends.

Never press snooze on a morning as it’s counter-productive

Unfortunately, many studies show that pressing “snooze” can have more of a negative impact on your day than a positive one. This is because a five-to-ten-minute snooze time only gives you enough time to go into ‘light sleep’ as it waits to enter the deep sleep state, otherwise known as REM. Your body is, therefore, put into a fight or flight mode, which triggers a response that increases your blood pressure and heartbeat as you wake up, leaving you on high alert. This makes you feel stressed despite it being the start of your day.

Open your curtains as soon as you wake up, so you stop producing

Unfortunately, many studies show that pressing “snooze” can have more of a negative impact on your day than a positive one. This is because a five-to-ten-minute snooze time only gives you enough time to go into ‘light sleep’ as it waits to enter the deep sleep state, otherwise known as REM. Your body is, therefore, put into a fight or flight mode, which triggers a response that increases your blood pressure and heartbeat as you wake up, leaving you on high alert. This makes you feel stressed despite it being the start of your day.

Drink at least a litre of water throughout the day to keep your energy levels up

Keeping hydrated is not only proven to be energy-boosting, but it can boost your metabolism, too. Even mild dehydration can leave you feeling sleepy and tired, whilst negatively disrupting your mood. I’d, therefore, recommend drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up.

Exercise for 30 minutes to stimulate all of your brain’s good chemicals

Exercise helps stimulate brain chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that promote relaxation and help you fall asleep faster. Try taking a walk outside for 30 minutes after dinner or doing yoga in the morning before work; both options will help reduce stress and increase energy levels throughout the day, so you can stay alert during meetings and presentations without feeling exhausted by midday.

Even better yet, exercise outside

Whilst this may not always be possible in winter, just 10 minutes spent in the sun can help boost your serotonin and stop you from feeling sleepy. Plus, moving more is proven to help you sleep better, so you should try to move as much as you can throughout the week. It will help you feel tired that night, and you’ll sleep better.

© Copyright 2014–2023 Psychreg Ltd

© Copyright 2014–2023 Psychreg Ltd