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Make sleep your New Year’s Resolution

Make sleep your New Year’s Resolution

Ring in the New Year

Time for making our annual New Year’s resolution. Time to promise that this year we resolve to live a better, healthier life. And the perfect time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work last year. 

The top resolutions that people make at the beginning of each year pertain to exercise, diet and sleep. The promises we make to ourselves:

  • eat healthier and diet.
  • spend more time with family. 
  • relieve stress.
  • exercise more or start exercising. 
  • get more sleep (zzz’s). 

Most common New Year resolutions that fail are exercise, diet, relieve stress, and get more sleep. 

Did you stick to last year’s New Year’s resolution? 

Some people will tell you to jump into your resolution with gusto. Take the bull by the horns and go, go, go. But we know how that will end; discouragement. When we do not see immediate results or immediately feel better, we become discouraged and we never complete our resolution list, then we go back our old habits. We have forgotten that we did not gain weight overnight, nor are we prepared to run that 5k if we haven’t even walked around the block in months. 

A healthier you begins with a healthier routine. But where do you start? Our bodies instinctively know what is right for us, but we have stopped listening to what our bodies are telling us. We push through long days at work, then come home and work some more. We allow 5 hours or less of sleep and get up to another 19 to 20-hour day of work. We expect to feel refreshed and ready to start our day, and be at the top of our game, with only 5 or less hours of sleep. But researchers have found that getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night supplies us with more energy, makes us more positive, and gives us the capacity for more brain power. Our bodies are screaming for us to take a break, eat lunch or drink more water, but we ignore the cries so that we can get more work done, then go home to our families to work some more. 

Time for a new year and a new sleep. 

What if I told you that getting into a healthy sleep pattern can help with most of the items on your list? Starting by listening to our natural circadian rhythm is a great place to begin. Studies have shown that getting more zzz’s helps with relieving stress, promotes healthy weight loss, and can decrease your chances of diabetes and heart disease. 

Make sleep a priority by getting into a healthy sleep routine:

  • Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. 
  • Keep your sleep/wake routine consistent on the weekends and holidays. 
  • Turn off your computer/phone or other electronics at least 45 minutes before bedtime. 
  • Prepare your brain and body for sleep (turn out lights, brush your teeth, etc.).
  • Stop drinking caffeinated drinks 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Eat dinner at least 2 hours before bedtime.

You can keep your circadian rhythm in sync during the day. Getting up from your desk after sitting too long and stretching for 10 minutes helps move dopamine to energize and refresh our minds and bodies. If you have 15 to 20 minutes take a nap or just relax, you can reconnect and get back to your natural circadian rhythm. You might find that you make better decisions after taking a short break.

Get better sleep this New Year.  It will make you feel better, look better and think better!