After the culinary excesses of the holiday season, it’s no surprise that the number 1 New Year’s resolution every year is to lose weight and be healthier. Other popular resolutions include getting a job, quitting a bad habit, saving money, and reducing stress. There is one thing you can do that will significantly increase your chance of succeeding at almost any of these resolutions. Get a good night’s sleep.
As you finalize your resolutions for 2012, give yourself the best chance at success by including one or more of these resolutions.
1. This year I will make sleep a priority in my life.
The best way to improve your health, perform better at work, be nicer to your friends and family, lose weight, and lower stress is to get a good night’s sleep tonight and every night. Because sleep is seen as a luxury in our society, it is often the first thing to go when we have more things to do than we have time to do them. While skipping sleep may help you get more done in the short-term, it has serious consequences over time. Making sleep a priority means that there are very few things, if anything, that are more important than going to bed on time and getting the sleep you need.
2. This year I will set a sleep schedule and stick to it.
Going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday supports your body’s sleep cycle and makes it easier to fall asleep at night. Your sleep schedule needs to be the same regardless of which day of the week or year it is. This means keeping to the same schedule on weekends and holidays too. Consistency is the key. If you are up a little later than usual one night, don’t sleep in for more than an hour the next day to protect your overall schedule and keep your sleep on track. It is generally better to take a short nap later in the day than it is to sleep late in the morning.
3. This year I will eliminate common sleep stealers from my day.
Most people don’t realize that we do things all day long that make it harder to get the sleep we need. Start by eliminating the common sleep thieves like watching TV in bed, drinking caffeine all day long, eating too much or too little, drinking alcohol, and smoking.
4. This year I will invest in my own comfort to get a good night’s sleep.
For some people, the key to getting a good night’s sleep is all about comfort. If you are sleeping on the hand-me-down mattress you got from your Great Aunt, it may be time for a new one. Make sure your bedroom environment is conducive to what you need to get to sleep. Make sure noise levels, temperature, ambient light, and bedding are all supportive of what you need to be able to sleep.
5. This year I won’t let stress keep me from getting the sleep I need.
Getting a good night’s sleep can help alleviate the affect stress has on your life. But stress can also keep you from getting the sleep you need. Don’t let the problems of today make things harder tomorrow. If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, grab a pen and paper and write everything down so you can let it go until the next day. Using meditation, deep breathing and relaxation techniques can also help keep stress from keeping you up at night.
About Valley Sleep Center:
Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center, accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, has provided Arizona with diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients. Their Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists consist of experienced and knowledgeable physicians who provide expert advice across a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleepwalking, and pediatric sleep problems. They accept most insurance plans as well as Medicare. For more information contact Lauri Leadley at 480-830-3900; http://www.valleysleepcenter.com.