Make Sleeping Well Your New Year’s Resolution

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How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? Whether you vowed to lose weight, exercise more,  de-stress or improve your productivity at work, chances are your success in sticking to the program will be highly influenced by how much, and how well, you’re sleeping.

The number of winks you get per night is closely related to how well you’ll keep your resolutions past the month of January. A more restful night will keep you alert and focused the next day which will help you stay on task toward achieving your goals throughout the year.

How Sleeping Well Will Help Your Resolutions Become a Reality:

Losing Weight

When you sleep well, you’ll snack less.

Whether you are looking to make a major change in your weight or simply trying to shed those last five pounds, sleep can be your best weight loss tool. When you don’t sleep well, your hormones tend to get confused and play tricks on your body. You’ll feel hungry even after eating a well-balanced meal, and your defences against snacking will be down. [1] By getting the proper amount of rest, your body’s chemistry will be more balanced, allowing you to stick to your goals and stay away from the fridge at midnight.

Excercising More

Better sleep = better performance.

More sleep means more energy. After a restful night’s sleep, your body is renewed and recharged, ready to face the day, and the gym, with vigor. Sleeping well means performing well, whether you’re running on the treadmill, training for a marathon, or playing with your children or grandchildren in the backyard. More sleep means better concentration, reaction time and energy.[2] Whether you’re an athlete or a weekend warrior, you’ll be glad you rested well when you lace up your shoes to get active.

Increasing Productivity at Work

When you’re rested, you’ll be at your best.

We all know what it feels like to hit the desk in the morning with that extra large cup of coffee (or two or three), hoping it will take you past the mid-afternoon slump. With a better night’s sleep you’ll not only be more productive at work, but you’ll also have a sharper focus.[3] Multi-tasking will seem easier and you’ll find yourself breezing through tasks that seemed more challenging on days when you repeatedly hit the snooze button.

Decreasing Stress

Sleep your way to peace.

Better sleep means less stress, literally. The Dalai Lama is famous for saying, “Sleep is the best meditation.” When you sleep, your body and mind are repairing themselves from everything they encountered that day. Your mind is able to rest after your busy workday, family celebration, or errand-filled agenda. When you lose sleep, the stress hormone, cortisol, increases in your body, not only raising your stress levels, but also making you more susceptible to weight gain and diabetes.[4]

Improving your Relationships with Others

Sleep well, live well.

Here at Obasan we believe that sleeping well is in direct relationship to living well. Making friends with Mr. Sandman will also help you interact more peacefully and positively with the people in your life. Quality sleep improves your mood, balances out your emotions, and decreases irritability. [5] All of this results in a happier, more peaceful you, which will extend to all the relationships in your life at work, at home and in your community.

So, the next time your head hits the pillow, you can rest easy. If you resolved to sleep well, your other resolutions are most likely not far behind on the path to success. And, by the time the ball drops ringing you into 2015, you’ll be grateful that you prioritized sleep and you’ll see its lasting effects on your mind, body and spirit.

 

[1] http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-while-sleeping

[2] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080609071106.htm

[3] http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/what-can-you-do/changes-at-work

[4] http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/502825

[5] http://www.army.mil/article/100004/SLEEP__A_Signal_of_Positive_Emotion_and_Lifestyle_Balance/

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