As we stand on the threshold of a new year, there's no better time to embark on a journey towards a healthier and happier you. From the moment we wake up in the morning, until the next morning, when we wake up again, we all go through a journey of our being. This journey tends to be unique, even though we all brush our teeth (I hope), eat, drink, cook, work, walk, etc.
Therefore the thing that differentiates one journey from another is the complex of our personality, emotional experience, thinking patterns and different combinations of choices.
With our faces towards 2024, it’s almost impossible to not-think-about new choices, better ones.
As always, we wish to empower our community and that’s why we listed a bunch of choices one can make, that will actually be a step forward, towards better healthy well-being (and undoubtedly better sleep)
1. Bedtime routine
Choosing to establish some sleep ground-rules is one of my favorite choices when I’m asked to recommend where to start from. The very first step, even before creating a routine, is to acknowledge the importance of sleep and sleep hygiene, and among all other tips, this one makes the greatest difference between the state of “going-with-the-flow” and the state of “being-aware-of-my-sleep”.
Practically - set a time of going to sleep, it doesn’t have to be the same for all days, just make this decision daily, as a start. Try to engage choices of bedroom lights to fit your falling-asleep needs. For those of you wishing to start even harder - try to avoid eating within the 2 hours before bedtime and maybe reduce caffeine intake from the afternoon.
2. Practicing gratitude
One of the most common habits among the human kind is to pay attention to mistakes, flaws, failures, etc.. This human tendency is a result of our trying to get better by learning from our mistakes. The thing is that more often than not we find ourselves paying our attention to the negative things, placing our focus on what’s missing and what’s wrong, when there is so much to be actually thankful for. I really don’t mean it in the too-spiritual way, but just the habits of being down-to-earth that can simply improve our well-being. Practicing gratitude is one of the easiest ways to improve overall well-being and health (both physical and mental health) and I’m afraid that many people might avoid such a tip because it sounds too far from their day-to-day living. I wish everyone who’s reading this to just try and grab a notebook, and simply write down 3 things you feel grateful for… it can be your emotions, your thoughts, your body, your loved ones, a cookie, the ability to have coffee each morning, your house, your partner, the privilege of choosing the people surrounding you… literally anything that comes up to your mind. Just turning the focus to the good things make a difference over time and I’m sure you’ll feel it sooner than you think.
3. Making rest - restful!
The awareness of sleeping quality, as mentioned earlier, is essential for your journey towards better sleep. Try to create a sleeping area which is free of distractions and sleep-quality-damage-creating-stuff. No, it doesn’t mean you should say goodbye to your phone and leave it in the living room, but try to do your best avoiding blue light and EMF radiation while sleeping, and try to differ the time before going to sleep (whether you’re socializing, reading, watching TV, working, etc.) from the time of really going to sleep. The capability to fall asleep faster, and to be protected from unwanted causes that might wake you up, together with a fine bedtime routine - will definitely make your rest more restful and your daytime more efficient.
4. Holistic well-being
The thing about well-being is that it will never work if we’re putting all efforts in one way. Don’t get me wrong, this might be the toughest task of all - knowing how to split and divide our resources between different issues to get better overall results. So my advice here is actually a reminder that things don’t change all-of-a-sudden, but they might change faster than you think if you spread your efforts correctly. While trying to improve your sleep, take into consideration your sleep environment along with your day-to-day habits, your nutrition, your state of mind and your baseline health. Although a drastic change in one of them can create some improvement, only a slight change of their combination will result in a greater improvement.
5. Digital detox
There’s no doubt that technology plays a main role in our lives, whether at work where most of us use computers, different kinds of machines and software, so it is also when we arrive home and use our phones, computers and tablets to keep things going - socializing, finishing work tasks, online shopping for groceries, clothes, furniture and practically anything. While deciding our sleep is actually a component of our well-being which we aspire to improve, some digital detox is required whatsoever. Well, I have to admit the word detox might sound more dramatic than actually needed, the main issue here is, again, to bring awareness into account. In the beginning of such a process, try to just note when you are with your phone before you sleep and when it’s been put aside, and with time, I’m sure it will get the frame of a habit that’s beneficial to your health.