Looking for a New Year’s resolution? This nonprofit suggests creating a better sleep schedule

Richmond

Have you been having trouble sleeping since the start of the pandemic? Well you might be suffering from what experts are calling Coronasomnia. (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With stocking-stuffers and presents taking the center stage on Christmas, there is one gift you can give yourself — restful sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation is encouraging rest this holiday season and imploring people to put ‘better sleeping habits’ on the top of their list for New Year’s resolutions.

During the holidays, children and teenagers are home from school, there are fewer hours of daylight and families can experience burnout from traveling to visit loved ones across the country.

The colder weather also makes outdoor activities and exercises more difficult.

With all these changes, the National Sleep Foundation said one thing should stay constant: healthy sleeping habits.

The non-profit relates a consistent sleep schedule to feeling well-rested. People on consistent sleep schedules reportedly feel 1.5-times more well-rested than those with variable sleep schedules.

Dr. Natalie Dautovich, PhD., a professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University and National Sleep Foundation Environmental Fellow, said “this time of year can be particularly challenging when it comes to maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.”

“Despite this, we [National Sleep Foundation] want to remind you of just how important sleep is for reducing stress, maintaining a healthy immune system and staying on track with your health goals,” she said. “No matter where or how you celebrate the holidays, there are things you can do to be your ‘best slept self.’”

So, how can you get better rest? The National Sleep Foundation has three critical pieces of advice:

  • Set a sleep schedule. Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night and children and teens need 8 to 11 hours.
  • Make a sleep-friendly bedroom. Sleep in a darkened, quiet room and keep the room temperature between 60 to 67 degrees. You might also need to change your sheets or blankets to fit the weather.
  • Maintain healthy habits. Spend some time outside each day to get sunlight exposure. Exercising can also promote better sleep. Finish eating and drinking 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed.

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