Sleep better in 2020? A very good resolution. Very ambitious too. To get there, we had an idea: choose a different resolution to test each month. That's enough to know if it really helps. And more realistic to keep than a year. Here is the program.
January: time is time
In terms of sleep, more than the quantity, it is the regularity that counts. Exposure to light and darkness has the strongest influence on our circadian rhythm. Falling asleep and waking up at random times is like switching to summer time every day. Or imposing a daily mini jet lag on yourself. So in January, choose a bedtime and a wake-up time, and stick to them until the 31st.
February: change the sheets?
Not every day, obviously. But in February, we think about it more often than usual. The ideal frequency is between 7 and 10 days, to avoid the proliferation of bacteria and dust mites. At this frequency, a wash at 30 or 40°C is enough to clean the sheets effectively. To disinfect them, you can add 5 to 10 drops of an anti-bacterial essential oil (tea tree, lemon...) to your dose of washing powder, or 250 ml of white vinegar in the tray reserved for fabric softener.
March: meditate (finally)
With or without an app, eyes open or closed, in music or in silence... What counts in March is to give meditation a real chance, whatever the method. Or to reconnect effectively with its practice if you have left it aside. For 31 days, we allow ourselves 10 to 20 minutes in the morning, the evening or both. Even if you don't feel like it. Especially if you don't feel like it. It is in these moments that it will be the most beneficial.
April: tidy up your room
Marie Kondo is not the first to have had the idea. However, she did know how to make us want to tidy our room. We'll let you choose the method that suits you best and tell us at the end of the month what you thought. Yes, the challenge is to keep your room tidy for a whole month after you've tidied it. Otherwise, it would be too easy.
May: stop drinking coffee
We know this resolution probably won't be the most popular on the list. In fact, we too wonder if resolutions are actually a good idea. So we've chosen May to get started: the first rays of sunshine should make waking up without caffeine a little sweeter. A molecule to which we owe our energy, but also our sleepless nights. We avoid replacing coffee with tea, which also contains caffeine. And we discover rooibos, sobacha, peppermint or ginger infusions, or waters infused with fruits and aromatic herbs...
June: read before going to sleep
That pile of books borrowed and never read (or returned), which threatens to collapse every time you turn off the bedside lamp? We'll take care of it in June. Every evening, for 20 to 30 minutes, we turn a few pages like the one for the day we're about to finish. The mind calms down, the body too, and sleep comes without even realizing it. Besides, next month...
July: screens, yes, but not in bed
As a logical follow-up to our June resolution, we're making our bedroom a screen-free zone. There's nothing stopping us from keeping up to date with the latest Netflix releases, or wishing the whole family goodnight on WhatsApp. Except we'll be doing it from the couch instead of under the duvet, just before we close our eyes. Less blue light at bedtime also means a better chance of falling asleep quickly. The proof in a month.
August: take a nap every day
On the beach, at the office or in the half-empty metro, a 10-minute micro-nap is all it takes to decompress and regain the energy we lack. Although you quickly get the hang of it, you should avoid prolonging it beyond 20 minutes. The body would enter a deep sleep cycle and waking up would be even more difficult.
September: move around every day for 20 minutes
And unlike the nap, we do not hesitate to add to it. Physical activity increases the duration of the deep slow wave sleep phase, during which our muscles relax the most. It is thanks to this that we feel well rested the next morning. A little sport also helps you to fall asleep more quickly and wake up less during the night. Not to mention that it is a natural stress reliever. This promises a more serene start to the new year than usual.
October: Take it to the next level
Sleeping in freshly washed sheets is good. In non-toxic sheets, it's much better. So in October, we take stock of our bedding and linens, before looking for healthier alternatives. We recommend the Oeko-Tex standard 100 certification, the strictest for textiles. The one we chose for our bed linen. There's no need to do everything at once: you start by changing the sheets, which are in direct contact with the skin, and move on to the next stage as soon as the budget allows. You can even go further and find cleaning products that are as natural as possible.
November: switch to the 8-hour night
Or 7:30, or 8:15, as long as it suits us to wake up feeling good. The daily sleep needs of an adult are between 7 and 9 hours, while in France, we sleep on average only 6h42 per night. November offers us the opportunity to imitate the sun and gain a few extra minutes under the duvet.
December: breakfast in bed every Sunday
It won't help us sleep better, but why not make resolutions for the sake of it? And after a year of taking care of our sleep, we will have earned a few breakfasts in bed.