A new year is here, offering a natural moment to reset, refocus, and restore. Good sleep is the foundation for feeling good on every level, so now is the perfect time to shed bad habits and create a resolution to begin healthy new routines that benefit you in 2022 and beyond. Here are 10 habits to quit, and 10 fresh regimens that should become a part of your daily life to ensure optimal sleep, each paired with an article, app, product, or recipe to help you achieve it.
Start: Reconnecting with nature
Stop vegging indoors. A 2013 study showed that spending lots of time indoors in artificial light disrupts the natural circadian rhythm. However, increasing exposure to sunlight can help reduce the consequences of that circadian disruption. Try a week of camping to reset your internal clock, which could result in going to bed two hours earlier than you were before.
Find a campsite on The Dyrt app.
Start: Taking coffee naps
Stop dozing at your desk and drink a cup of coffee before settling down for a power nap. It might sound counterproductive but with the correct caffeine dosage and timing, you will wake up feeling ultra-energized and ready to rock the rest of your day — without disrupting your sleep at night.
Purchase a bag of beans from Texas Coffee Traders.
Start: Eating well to sleep well
Stop bad snacking before bedtime. If you eat the right things, they could actually help you get a good night’s rest. So instead of raiding the cookie jar, opt for foods high in melatonin, a sleep hormone encouraging quality sleep.
Check out these easy-to-make bedtime snack recipes.
Start: Journaling your dream journey
Stop forgetting your dreams. Even if you have a photographic memory, remembering dreams over the long-term can be incredibly challenging. Writing them down can help you parse the emotions you’re experiencing and empower you to come up with a self-care strategy and solutions to deal with your challenges.
Purchase a dream journal from Etsy.
Start: Designing a sleep oasis
Stop settling for an unsupportive sleep space. An unfocused bedroom can negatively impact your Zzz’s. Create a haven by maximizing the layout, minimizing intrusive noises, decorating with a soothing color palette, and incorporating greenery, all to benefit the quality of your time in the Land of Nod.
Purchase a wavy fern from Horti.
Start: Creating a bedtime routine
Stop being unintentional about bedtime. Mindlessly scrolling on your phone, having a nightcap, or working out late at night can degrade your sleep quality. Instead, devise a nighttime ritual that gently and intentionally winds you down. Try a light snack or warm drink, create a cool environment, or take a moment to make an anxiety-soothing to-do list for the next day.
Check out these tips for creating an effective bedtime routine.
Start: Calming yourself through aromatherapy
Stop breathing blandness. Certain smells can make you instantly hungry, like the scent of your mother’s six-layer lasagna or the barbecued ribs your dad makes every Memorial Day. Similarly, having a soothing scent floating around near bedtime can help tug on the sleep strings.
Purchase a Terrafuse Portable Diffuser & Travel Pack from Mattress Firm.
Start: Learning your chronotype
Stop guessing when you function best. Are you an early-morning lark or a midnight-loving owl? Everyone has a particular circadian rhythm known as a chronotype, which informs when you have the most energy, when you begin to drag, and when you hit the sack. Knowing yours can help you schedule your life to get the most out of your day and the best sleep possible.
Discover your chronotype.
Start: Reciting sleep affirmations
Stop allowing negativity to cloud your mind. Get your mind right before bed by verbalizing short, positive statements of gratitude and intention before your head hits the pillow. For example: “I am thankful for the good I experienced today. Tonight, I will rest soundly. I am going to slay tomorrow.”
Get inspiration for sleep affirmations.
Start: Involving the whole family
Stop trying to go it alone. The family that strives together thrives together. Get everyone on board with a healthy sleep schedule and you’ll all feel better for it. Just think of how nice it will be to have less-stressful evenings — finally.
Get tips for your kids’ bedtime routines.