A little nighttime reading
What’s your new year’s resolution? How ‘bout getting better sleep?
The confetti’s fallen. The ball has dropped. We’re now a week into 2017 and likely in the thick of tackling our new year’s resolutions with vigor. When it comes to these resolutions, lots of worthy goals typically top the list.
Stay fit, eat healthy
Spend less, save more
Spend more quality time with family and friends
Maybe this year it’s all about more meditation for you. Or travel. Or reading. Of course there’s always the perennially-popular “lose the love handles”...
But if your goal is to feel and be your best self, consider making a commitment to maintaining a healthy sleep schedule this year. If sleep’s an area where you could use a little help, you’ll likely find that with a good night’s rest, it’s easier to achieve your other goals.
How so? Quality sleep helps your metabolism fire on all cylinders, balances hormones and curbs cravings. It’ll keep you energized and support your immune system. All these things are key if you want the motivation to exercise and eat healthy.
If family time is a focus, consider how a good night’s rest makes you less groggy and irritable. When you feel well-rested, your mood is elevated, and your mind is present -- which makes you way more fun to be around!
For more about how sleep is so good for your body and brain, click here.
Are you resolved to make sleep a priority this year? If so, read on. Sticking to your resolutions often requires forming new habits, which (let’s face it) can be challenging in our day-to-day lives. Yet, changing your mindset can be a powerful tool for creating enduring habits.
Here are two key points to help you see sleep with a different frame of mind.
Sleeptime is productive time
“You snooze, you lose.”
“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
Our culture has long poo-pooed sleep as an impediment to getting things done. Luckily, many folks are waking up to the reality that sleep is valuable. But still, most of us tend to think that our bedtime is about letting go and doing nothing -- that resting is necessary downtime.
The truth is that a lot is going on in those wee hours. Your brain is actually highly productive during sleep. It is going to work consolidating your memory and flushing disease-causing toxins that build up during the day. Your organs are recuperating and rebuilding, and your hormones are balancing during this phase. When you lose a few hours of sleep, you’re depriving your body of those precious moments where it can do this important work.
By prioritizing sleep, you are equipping yourself physically and mentally to take on the day with stronger focus, creativity and productivity. If you’re fueled by a drive to be your best self everyday, know that proper sleep is one of the most effective tools to help you do that.
Prioritizing sleep can be the “easiest” resolution to keep
Most new year’s resolutions, such as losing weight or exercising more, take effort and “work.” We need to get off the couch and hit the gym. Or go out of our way to plan and cook meals -- instead of heading to the drive-thru.
But relatively speaking, sleep is easy. (well, if it’s not for you, see below) *All* you have to do is lay down, and your body does all the work. Being “too tired” is no excuse for not keeping this resolution!
So do your part by setting aside enough time to wind down and get in sufficient hours of zzz’s. Then let your body and brain do its thing. You can so keep this resolution.
If it makes you feel like your new year’s resolution has more cred if you have a tool to help you along -- like new sneakers for your fitness goals or a smoothie blender for your diet goals -- why not get a comfy pillow or cool PJs to equip you to ace your sleep goals?
Getting in the mindset that sleep is a critical contributor to your well-being can not only transform your health, but also your overall happiness and quality of life. Remember that tonight when you tuck into bed!
We realize a blissful slumber doesn’t necessarily come easy to everyone. If you have trouble falling and staying asleep, foster shuteye by practicing good sleep hygiene (see here for Slumbr’s list). And if you’ve tried the basics and need a little extra help, check out Slumbr’s all-natural sleep remedy tips, some of which may surprise you.
Photo credit: © Can Stock Photo / limpido