This is it: the year you lose ten pounds, earn that promotion or land a 4.0 and reconnect with your loved one. You’re motivated, focused and driven....but you’re also worried because that ice cream is looking real good, you’re always late to work because you can’t seem to wake up early enough and now your friends are bugging you to go out and drink on a Tuesday, when you have a huge test tomorrow and you know your partner won’t be happy at the idea of you pounding shots of tequila in a sea of singles. Keeping that motivation, focus and drive seems impossible. However, there’s a powerful secret weapon to help you accomplish your goals that most people underestimate by a long shot: sleep.
According to a 2017 article published by Science Daily, your quality of sleep can influence how committed you stay to your New Year’s resolutions. Catherine Goldstein, an expert in sleep as a sleep physician and professor of neurology at the Sleep Disorders center, claims sleep influences all our most common resolutions.
For example, are you looking to lose those ten pounds? Well, this may be hard if you are lacking sleep. Those who stay up late are more likely to snack and sleep-deprived individuals produce less of the hormone leptin (helps make you feel full) and more ghrelin (helps make you feel hungry).
Sleep not only affects your diet, but also your workout. No one likes working out exhausted. Adequate sleep has been found to increase athletes’ speed, energy, and focus. Step one of losing those pesky ten pounds for the summer should be to get a better night’s sleep. Wake up well-rested so you won’t have to eat to try to make up for your lack of energy and you can also kill it when you’re at the gym.
Are you set on earning that promotion or landing a 4.0? Start with sleep. Goldstein notes that our mood is strongly affected by our levels of sleep. It is difficult to be happy, helpful, or focused at work or in class when all you want to do is curl up in your bosses/teachers super comfy looking office chair. This goes for improving your relationships as well, because a sour mood from feeling exhausted makes it much harder to have the frequent positive interactions that lead to long-term success between significant others.
There are so many reasons to make your primary resolution this year to improve your sleep, especially since better sleep will help you achieve your other resolutions! So, where should you start? First, aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night and stick to a sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same times each day. If you’re having difficulty falling asleep at night, consider incorporating a supplement like Som Sleep into your routine. Som is a drug-free drink that’s engineered to help facilitate the natural process of sleep. Next, keep your bedroom dark, as light delays the sleep hormone melatonin. Shut your blinds, turn off your phone early and even cover up your electronic clock, so you may achieve maximum darkness for optimal sleep quality.
Work on your sleep and your resolutions will thank you! Have a happy New Year and do not forget about the importance of sleep!