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The Only New Year’s Resolution You Need This Year Is….

New Year Resolutions

Odds are, sleep is on your list of resolutions for this coming year and you didn’t even know it. (Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto.com)

The holiday season is wrapping up and New Year’s Day just flew by.  For many people this meant going to a great party, kissing someone at midnight, and a new set of resolutions.  Despite how different we all are, when it comes to resolutions and the things we want to change about our lives, we are remarkably the same.  The top three New Year’s resolutions almost every year have something to do with losing weight, getting more exercise, and being healthier.  But the one resolution that almost everyone would benefit from is one you aren’t likely to find on anyone’s list…to get more sleep.  What’s interesting is that if you made that resolution, there is a good chance you wouldn’t need to make the others and here is why.


1.     Want to Lose Weight – Get More Sleep

Recent research has shown that if you are looking to lose weight, sleep might be your magic bullet.  People who went on the same diet and did the same exercise program saw different results when they slept different amounts.  Those sleeping an average of 5.5 hours a night lost less weight and less body fat than those sleeping 8.5 hours a night.  Sleep also plays a critical role in metabolism, hormonal balance, and other internal processes that can make you lose or gain weight.  So, if one of your resolutions is to lose weight, start by resolving to get more sleep.


2.     Want to Exercise More – Get More Sleep

When it comes to sleep and exercise, researchers aren’t quite sure which is the chicken and which is the egg.  There is a long-held belief that if you exercise more you will sleep better, and while this is true, there is not cause and effect relationship between exercising more today and sleeping better tonight.  The affect of exercise on sleep is a little more long term but increasing your activity level does seem to increase the amount of sleep you get on average over time.  However, this is the least interesting part of the story.    It turns out that sleeping better will actually make you exercise more.   Researchers have found that the amount of sleep you get tonight actually impacts how much exercise you will get tomorrow.  The less you sleep, the less you will work out.  So, if you want to get in better shape and finally commit to that exercise program, start by making an effort to get more sleep.


3.     Want to Be Healthier – Get More Sleep

It turns out that getting enough sleep may be as critical to your overall health and longevity as eating right and exercising.  Not getting enough sleep, which is generally 7-9 hours a night for adults, can increase your risk of several serious health problems including:

So, if your goal in the New Year is to be healthier overall, start by getting a good night sleep.

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