Are you tired of making the same New Year’s Resolutions every single year? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.
Just like many others, it’s likely you’ve set the intention to eat healthier, lose weight and exercise more often in 2022. Don’t get me wrong, these are all great goals. But seeing those resolutions through is often a very different story.
We look at diet and exercise as making up the two most important factors of setting up better health routines, but where does sleep fit into this equation? After all it’s an enjoyable activity that requires no gym membership or artificial sweeteners.
Let’s face it. Getting some good quality shut eye is often overlooked as a New Year’s Resolution, but it is one of the most fundamental steps to improving your overall health and wellbeing, and when implemented properly, is a super easy one to stick to!
If you don’t believe me, here’s a few reasons why developing a good sleep routine is essential to succeeding in that ‘New Year, New You’ feeling – and how it can help to tick off a few other goals on your resolutions list this year!
Four Reasons Sleep Should Be Your New Year's Resolution
A sleep resolution can be beneficial to every one, no matter your health goals, age or gender. It’s no secret that sleep is the proverbial mould that holds us all together. It not only sharpens our thinking and memory, strengthens physical and mental health, but is also associated with generating better self-control, which makes it easier to follow through on other resolutions you may have this year. Here’s how:
1. Sleep increases your ability to lose weight
Yes, it’s true. If you’re trying to lose weight, getting a decent amount of sleep each night is just as important as your diet and exercise. Sleep affects the hormones, leptin and ghrelin, that control the feelings of hunger and fullness. Leptin tells your body when you are full, and ghrelin tells your body when you are feeling hungry.
Without adequate sleep, your body produces less leptin and more ghrelin which tells your body you’re hungry. So, while you may be able to squash comfort food cravings when you’re well-rested, your sleep-deprived brain may have trouble saying no, often causing you to over-indulge in that second slice of cake. Making a healthy sleep routine part of your life this year will leave you feeling and looking your best all year round.
2. Sleep generates more energy for exercise
It should come as no surprise that physical exercise is essential for your health and wellbeing. Research has shown that at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day can improve your mood and cognitive function, alleviate anxiety, and decrease your risk of disease. But, exercise can also contribute to better sleep quality and increased energy levels. Having consistent sleeping habits allows our bodies to conserve and restore energy, meaning the more sleep we get, the more energised we are to smash out that HIIT session. No brainer, right?
3. Sleep enhances productivity at work
Quality Zzz’s not only benefit you physically, but also help to improve your mental health and brain function. Your brain needs plenty of rest to operate at full capacity, so it’s important that you get the appropriate amount of sleep each night in order to feel refreshed and energised for the day ahead. During sleep, your brain creates and maintains pathways that are essential for memory formation and retention. This helps to enhance your learning and problem-solving.
When you’re tired, the neurons in your brain fire slower, which reduces your reaction time, thinking ability and makes it difficult to perform simple cognitive tasks – something you want to avoid at work! It makes sense that the more sleep you have, the better you will perform at work, so if one of your resolutions is to boost productivity, you’ll want to shift your focus to prioritising your sleep this year!
4. Sleep fosters creative thinking
Research suggests that getting enough hours sleep each night helps the brain make connections, which fuels the creative process. What else is on your list of resolutions for 2022? Learning to cook? Take up painting? Or maybe even starting to journal. Whatever spurs your creativity, getting a good amount of rest each night will ensure your brain is functioning at its highest for whatever you want to imagine.
While getting a better sleep doesn’t have to be the only goal you work towards in 2022, it should certainly be one you put on the top of your list. You can find more sleep tips on how to put this into practice on The Goodnight Co. website.