1) Turn your mattress
Turning your mattress seasonally will help prolong its life, as it will help it to wear evenly. If your mattress is double-sided, i.e. you can sleep on both sides, you should flip and rotate it, while single-sided mattresses, such as pillow tops, require only rotation. This is one that you can do right now, though we recommend enlisting some help first. And if your mattress is starting to feel really uncomfortable even when turned regularly, it might be time for resolution number five.
2) Get an early night
This may be in the eat better/exercise more category of resolutions, but like those, it really will do wonders for your wellbeing. Though studies vary as to how much sleep we actually need, if you don’t feel ready to get up when your alarm goes off, you’re probably not getting enough.
Setting a bedtime and then keeping to it doesn’t have to be a hassle and can even count as some much-deserved “me” time — have a regular nighttime routine of relaxing activities, such as taking a bath, changing into pyjamas, having a (non-caffeinated!) hot drink, etc. Over time, your body will get used to this routine being followed by sleep.
3) Scrap the screens
Not entirely, of course, but from your bedroom. Moving televisions and computers to another room will rid your bedroom of major distractions from sleep. And regardless of where you’re keeping your screens, avoid them for at least an hour before you go to bed, as the artificial light suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep.
Other ways you can create a better sleeping environment include investing in blackout blinds, using earplugs, and keeping a notebook by your bed so you can write down to-do lists or things that are bothering you and clear your head before you sleep.
4) No more nightcaps
Cutting back on alcohol is, again, a frequently made and frequently broken resolution. But here's another reason to keep at it: when it comes to your sleep, a so-called “nightcap” might be disrupting your sleep. A drink before bed may lull you to sleep at first, but as the effects of the alcohol wear off, you may find yourself more wide awake than ever. Drinking a relaxing herbal tea or something warm, milky, and decaffeinated is a far better option.
5) Upgrade your mattress
It’s out with the old and in with the new, and if you’re not sleeping well, that might include your mattress. After around five to seven years, or up to ten for a very high-quality one, your mattress may have deteriorated considerably, which is hardly surprising given that you spend a third of your life there! Changes to your health or lifestyle since you bought your mattress may also lead to it feeling less comfortable, even if it isn’t that old. If you’re sleeping badly and are waking up stiff and sore, it could well be your mattress that is causing the problem.
If you do decide it’s time for a new mattress, go for the best you can afford. Remember that you’re not just investing in somewhere to sleep, but also in your general wellbeing, and quite possibly in your motivation to get on with some of those other new year’s resolutions!