With 2012 wrapping up, and 2013 right around the corner, many of us are probably thinking about New Year’s resolutions. People set lofty goals for themselves every New Year and it’s often the same goal nearly every time, whether it is starting a fitness program, running a marathon, eating better and stressing less, saving money, quitting smoking, getting rid of clutter and so forth. One area that is generally overlooked in the health department though, is sleep. The thing is, if sleep is made more of a priority, everything else will fall into place much easier.
According to the article, Success in 2013 With a New Year’s Sleep Resolution by Dr. Robert Oexman, the winter months – specifically January, February and March – are an opportune time to commit to a new sleep routine because of the following:
- Parties and gatherings are over and we spend more time at home.
- With shorter days, we’re less intrigued by outdoor activities that will keep us up late.
- The premature darkness causes us to get sleepier during the day, which makes it easier to fall asleep at night.
- Added darkness allows us to produce melatonin naturally, which promotes better sleep and increases drowsiness.
- The later sunrise allows us to sleep in a bit longer without the sun sneaking in through the window.
Additionally, Dr. Oexman offers these five tips to set you up for a successful sleep resolution:
- Get the whole family involved – everyone will benefit and it will be easier to stay on track with others holding you accountable!
- Get your sleep partner on the same schedule, or at the very least, make sure they relax outside of the bedroom. For instance, don’t allow him or her to watch TV in the bedroom while you’re trying to sleep.
- Make a time commitment for quality and quantity of sleep, which means no late nights. Carve out time earlier in the day or evening to do what you need to do.
- Be sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillow that allow you to sleep comfortably and doze off easier.
- Keep your bedroom temperature cool — ideally between 65 and 68 degrees. This is crucial because we need to reduce our core temperature in order to fall asleep and maintain sleep.
If you get your sleep in order, you’ll have more energy to tackle other resolutions, goals and daily living activities. Sure, it will still be challenging, but sleep is powerful and will make things a whole lot easier.