January 27, 2016
What was your New Year’s resolution for 2016?
Get healthier…lose weight…exercise more…be more productive…save money? Since these five resolutions usually make the Top 10 list, odds are you’ve probably made a least one of them.
So, now that we’re one month into the new year… how’s it going? Statistics show only 8% of us are successful in achieving our resolutions. That means most of us need a little help in accomplishing our optimistic goals.
What if I told you there was one thing you could do to that would help you accomplish all of these goals. And it didn’t cost a thing. And you didn’t have to go anywhere to get it or do it. And – this is especially crucial for staying power – it was easy and enjoyable.
The secret weapon? Sleep!
Pledging to get enough rest is practically a 5-in-1 resolution. Resolve to sleep the 7 to 9 hours that the National Sleep Foundation recommends, and you’ll be in a much better position for achieving these five resolutions:
Let’s take a look at how getting enough shut-eye can positively affect your ability to reach your goals.
Aside from the fact that when you’re sleeping you can’t eat, and you won’t be tempted by commercials featuring wickedly delicious food, getting enough sleep can help you to burn more calories throughout the day. According to Women’s Health, a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who get enough shut-eye burn 20 percent more calories after a meal than those who are sleep deprived. Sleeping also helps with weight loss by keeping your leptin hormone levels up. Leptin plays a key role in making you feel full so when your levels drop, you feel hungrier.
The exercise results you want will be enhanced by getting enough rest. When you enter the deep, non-REM sleep stage, your pituitary gland releases a growth hormone that stimulates tissue growth and muscle repair. This hormone helps your muscles recover after intense exercise. So, if you happen to overdo it and pull something, you won’t spend as much time on the sidelines.
Be more productive
Workers who don’t get their Zzzs nod off at meetings, have trouble concentrating and experience memory lapses. Lack of sleep also impairs judgment, which has implications far more serious than a loss in productivity. Think of the implications for pilots, doctors and school bus drivers. If you want to perform well at work, get enough rest.
Not getting enough sleep has been tied to serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes and obesity. According to WebMD, one study “simulated the effects of the disturbed sleep patterns of shift workers on 10 young healthy adults. After a mere four days, three of them had blood glucose levels that qualified as pre-diabetic.”
When you’re asleep, you can’t shop online. You can’t stop at restaurants for late-night snacks, or bars for nightcaps. That’s a no-brainer. What’s not as obvious is how sleep helps with impulse control. According to an article written by Christopher Barnes of the Huffington Post, sleep helps to regenerate blood glucose in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, which is the part that’s responsible for self-control. When you’re overtired, it’s so much harder to have the self-control to tell yourself “no” when you want to splurge on an unnecessary purchase.
Keeping your resolutions for the new year is hard enough. Set yourself up for success by crawling into bed.