In the blink of an eye, we’re at the end of the year! There’s an old Chinese saying: “Out with the old, make way for the new.” Before saying a proper farewell to 2018, it’s the perfect time to get discover healthy new year’s resolutions that will help you improve your health, fitness, and sleep in the new year. What’s the key to a healthy, happy self in 2019? You guessed it. It all starts with your sleep.
Healthy New Year’s Resolution #1: Improve your sleep quality
Improving your sleep quality can have a drastic effect on your productivity and health. And the most important element is sleep quality, not quantity. Take Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, as an example: he claims to average only 6 hours of sleep each night since 2015. During this time, he’s able to get enough deep, restorative sleep that he doesn’t need more hours. What’s more? He has more awake hours to do even more things, like running his other company -- Tesla.
But for normal people like us, averaging only 6 hours of sleep everyday might sound less realistic than Elon Musk conquering the space. Little did we know, his sleeping routine does not equal to his quality of sleep. Before getting down to the tips and tricks which can help you sleep better in the new year, please check out 7 Common Myths about Mattresses to make sure you have the best mattress and the softest bedding.
Healthy New Year’s Resolution #2: Wash and change your bedsheets regularly
We spend more time in bed during the 24-hour day cycle than anywhere else! That means your bedsheets are the closest thing to you in the world -- so close that they’re the only items that are literally touching you for ⅓ of your life. Since that’s the case, you need to adhere to a regular maintenance routine to make sure your bedsheets are in tip-top shape. Microbiologist Philip Tierno points out that the human body naturally produces sweat which traps bacteria, fungi and even dust mites in order to protect. If we sleep on the same bedsheets everynight without changing them regularly, the accumulated germs will remain on the bedsheets. Sound gross? It is!
In order to avoid accumulating more germs in bed, you should change your bedsheets at least once a week. In addition, consider replacing your bedsheets once a year. A new year often means new bedsheets!
Healthy New Year’s Resolution #3. Make napping a regular habit
Hong Kongers are always busy. Daily work routine and family commitments probably take up most of your awake time. For office people, 8 hours of sleep per day sounds like a luxury and does not always happen. But did you know that napping is not a luxury that is only limited to children? Adults also can (and should!) nap. The perfect nap takes around 20 minutes to complete and will help you feel more refreshed, awake, alert, and productive. you can definitely do it during the holiday. It helps recover your mind and body and gives you better sleep at night time. So for 2019, make sure you schedule time for regular naps. Your mind and body will thank you!
Healthy New Year’s Resolution #4: Cutdown on caffeine intake
Caffeine acts on the central nervous system to make you feel more alert and less drowsy. Consumption of caffeine via drinks like coffee, tea, or cola speeds up your heartbeat and your breathing rate to take in more oxygen, which can mask your sleep deprivation. But it also creates an unwelcome cycle that may lead to insomnia and eventually certain types of sleeping disorders. To cut down on caffeine, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should say goodbye to coffee beans and soft drinks. It just means being smart about your caffeine intake -- don’t drink too much caffeine and don’t drink it after 3 PM. And when you’re offered coffee after dinner as a digestive, it’s the perfect time to order decaf!
Healthy New Year’s Resolution #5: Declutter your mind; practice mindfulness
It could have happened to you before when you were trying to have you ever had a night where thoughts and creativity went thriving in front of your eye even when you were trying to sleep?
If 2018 is any indication, stress, work, and other life challenges will continue stacking up in 2019. What’s the solution? Try turning on relaxing music, clearing your mind and practicing mindfulness. Research shows that a healthy mind can keep you on the right track, no matter what life throws at you. Even if you skip your regular gym session, having a healthy mind can provide immediate boosts in happiness, energy, and overall health!
Looking for an effective way to clear your mind and be more mindful? Try meditation. This simple practice has been shown to make people calmer, more productive, exercise more self control, and rewire your brain for the better. It can even boost your social life by helping increase your emotional intelligence and compassion while decreasing the feeling of loneliness. And the best part of meditating? When your thoughts swirling in your head are less cluttered, you can fall asleep swiftly and easily.
Healthy New Year’s Resolution #6: Exercise regularly (it will help you fall asleep more quickly!)
As recommended by the Department of Health, regular physical activity of moderate intensity helps will help improve your health and well-being. How does the Department of Health define moderate intensity? Simply any activity that makes your heart beat faster and stronger, or makes you feel sweaty or breathe heavily.
The good news for all of us is that many, many activities will fall into this category. It’s not hard to find activities that you enjoy. The harder part is to make them a regular part of your life! So for the new year, choose a few of your favorite activities and commit to them for the whole year. Not only it helps to balance your physique, but it also helps you fall into a deep sleep cycle in a snap of a finger.
Healthy New Year’s Resolution #7: Keep up the good work
All of the above is easier said than done. All of us want to be fit, healthy, and well-rested in 2019. The key to achieving your health and wellness goals isto maintain your motivation and develop consistently healthy habits. Making small changes to your lifestyle and exercising self-discipline in tracking your healthy new year’s resolutions can help you stay on target to achieve the best version of yourself.
Our advice this new years? Set your goals now, work steadily toward them, and (of course) get plenty of rest!
Certified Wellness Consultant &
Co-founder of Hush Home
As a certified health and wellness consultant, Stephanie is on a mission to inspire everyone to live a fuller life by sleeping better.
Stephanie designs and leads Hush Home's sleep workshops for Fortune Global 500 Companies such as Citibank, Manulife, and Standard Chartered to boost their employee performance and productivity with sleep science.
When Stephanie is not getting her 8 hours of snooze in, or reading and writing about sleep & wellness, she’s probably somewhere hiking with her little pomeranian, Dookie!