Millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions they hope will make them healthier, happier and more productive. Many don’t realize their resolutions can be accomplished in their sleep—literally! In 2010, think about making sleep your number one resolution.
If you’re trying to lose weight, perform better at work, be more patient or cordial with your friends and family, sleep can help you achieve it all. Resolving to get more sleep can positively impact those areas we’re all making resolutions about anyway – including weight loss, overall health, mood and memory. When your body is sleep deprived, it doesn’t correctly produce the hormones necessary to manage weight, and your body is robbed of essential sleep cycles which impair motor skills, decision making and the ability to learn new tasks.
This year, don’t be one of the 150 million Americans who are sleep deprived. Make the necessary changes in your lifestyle and get the recommended 7.5-8 hours of sleep each night.
How can you keep a resolution to get one more hour of shut eye a night? Here are simple tips to help you get that extra hour of needed sleep:
• Make sleep a priority: Put “getting 8 hours of sleep” at the top of your to-do list. Try it for a week and see what difference it makes in how you feel and perform—that might be motivation enough to figure out how to do it full-time! Most of us are so sleep deprived, we’ve forgotten what it’s like to be fully rested and alert.
• Establish a bedtime routine: Bedtime isn’t just for kids. Adults should identify a bedtime that gives them 7.5-8 hours of sleep each night, and then stick to it — even on the weekends.
• Don’t boil the ocean: If you need to add an extra hour of sleep to get the recommended 8 hours, and can’t– split the difference. Go to bed a half hour earlier and wake a half hour later.
• Pay attention to your environment: Get into sleep mode by dimming or turning off all lights in your home one hour before bed time. Get in a dim, quiet room and turn off all screens (TV, phone, video game, etc.). This will help you unwind from the day and make falling asleep easier.
• Avoid anti-sleep activities: Don’t eat, exercise or consume caffeine near bedtime.
• Check your bed and pillow: Take advantage of innovations in bedding that allow you to customize your comfort, like the Sleep Number bed that is clinically proven to decrease back pain and Sleep Number bedding accessories.
We’re seven days into the new year, and statisticians say 20% of us have already given up on our resolutions. And, in six months that new treadmill you purchased will be a clothes rack. Why not invest in your health by improving something you do each day. I encourage you to resolve to get more sleep as it will help you achieve a higher quality of life and help achieve other new year’s resolutions.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Please comment below. Sleep Well!