25 Easy Ways to Be Healthier Than Ever in the New Year

By | December 11, 2018

Create a sleep sanctuary

BedSyda Productions/Shutterstock

Snooze better by revamping your bedroom. Make sure it’s cool, quiet, and dark. Ban electronics (yes, even TV!) about 30 minutes before bed; the blue light emitted can cause insomnia by reducing the amount of sleep hormone melatonin your body produces. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a diffuser; studies show this scent promotes relaxation. And consider implementing a calming ritual, such as yoga or meditation, to help your body and mind wind down, says Raj Dasgupta, MD, a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. (Don’t make these other sleeping mistakes.)

Boost oral hygiene

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There’s more to a healthy mouth than brushing and flossing each day. Be sure your toothpaste doesn’t contain the ingredient triclosan—it’s an antibacterial ingredient that was recently banned from all over-the-counter antiseptic soaps, gels, and wipes in the U.S. because of its potential to disrupt hormones, but it’s still allowed to appear in some kinds of toothpaste. And don’t forget to replace your toothbrush, too. Researchers found that brushes accumulated significant amounts of triclosan and continuously released it, even when a triclosan-free paste was used for brushing, opening brushers up to prolonged exposure. The American Dental Association recommends replacing a toothbrush every three to four months, regardless; when the bristles become frayed, their cleaning effectiveness decreases. And make sure to avoid these common toothbrushing mistakes.

Harness positivity

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“We often get so busy that we lose sight of our emotional well-being, which can lead to stress or negativity. Commit to doing a daily emotional check-in with yourself,” says Kaiser. Choose a time—when you wake up, midday, or right before bed—and focus on how you feel, even if it’s sad or angry. “Once you have assessed how you’re feeling, think of something that makes you happy to shift your mood to a more positive place,” she says.

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