New Year’s Health Boosting Sleep Habits
Embrace the dark.
Exposure to light at night can reset the body’s clock and delay sleep.
- Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible.
- If streetlight shines through your curtains, put up blackout shades or blinds.
- Block any bright LED displays in your room before you go to bed.
- Use dim nightlights in the hallway and bathroom so you don’t have to switch on ceiling lights if nature calls during the night.
Maintain your cool.
Your body temperature naturally decreases during sleep. If your bedroom is too hot, it can affect the quantity and quality of your sleep. Research suggests that a cool room between 60-65 degrees F (16 -19 C) helps keep your body at the right sleeping temperature. Be sure the covers you sleep under are the right thickness to keep you comfortable and not too warm. On hot summer nights, cool the room with a ceiling fan or a fan placed in front of an open window.
“One of the biggest things we do now that negatively affects our sleep is stare at our phones before bed,” says Chris Brantner, founder of sleepzoo.com, a reviewer of sleep-related goods. “In fact, surveys indicate that the majority of people are staring at their phones very close to going to sleep (within 30 minutes). The blue light from the screens is detrimental to our sleep because it negatively impacts melatonin production, making it more difficult to dive into the sleep cycle. A resolution to embrace: Turn off devices at least an hour before bed.
Boost your intake of magnesium.
Magnesium facilitates sleep regulating melatonin (sleep hormone) production, relieves muscle tension that can disrupt sleep and prevent restful sleep and activates GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system, and its activation favors sleep.
“Most Americans (about 75%) do not get their RDA of this mineral,” says Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, medical advisory board member, Nutritional Magnesium Association and author of The Magnesium Miracle. “This is the sleep mineral and anti-stress mineral that all of us need.”
Prepare a water bottle with a teaspoon or two of magnesium citrate powder and sip this throughout the day and have it available at your bedside. Take a big swig when you wake up in the middle of the night. In this form, it is fast acting and highly absorbable. It will help you get restful, rejuvenating sleep.