The new year has arrived, and there's a decent chance you made a resolution for 2018. While there's an even greater likelihood you already quit that resolution, if you haven't, you should consider swapping it with "Get More Sleep."
We’re all aware of sleep's importance, yet for some reason, we fail to make it a priority. It's essential for optimal living, and likely plays a crucial role in the success or failure of whatever other New Year's Resolution you were trying on for size.
Here are five reasons to put this resolution to practice for 2018.
1- Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you made the resolution to lose weight in 2018, you should definitely prioritize sleep and implement an earlier bedtime.
To make that earlier bedtime easier, stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time - even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body's clock and can help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
Snoozing is essential for maintaining your body’s ideal weight since sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. Therefore, when you’re sleepy, certain hormones in your blood rise, and those same hormones drive appetite. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat than those who were sleep deprived. Dieters in the study also felt more hungry when they got less sleep.
2- Improves Memory
If you made a resolution to pick up a new hobby, language, or sport - you must first resolve to get better sleep. Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you undergo a process called ‘consolidation’ in which you strengthen memories and “practice” skills you learned while you were awake.
If you are trying to learn something, whether it’s physical or mental, you learn it to a certain point with practice, and something happens during sleep that makes you learn it better.
3- Reduces Inflammation In Body
For optimal health, sleep is essential. Inflammation is serious - it’s linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less than six hours of sleep a night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.
A 2010 study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night.
While getting enough sleep doesn’t guarantee a sunny disposition, you’ve probably noticed that when you’re exhausted, you tend to be crankier.
Lack of sleep affects your emotional regulation. When you’re overtired, you’re more likely to snap at your family, burst into tears, or laugh uncontrollably.
5- Stronger Immunity
This one is especially important during cold and flu seasons.
Preliminary studies suggest that getting 8 hours of nightly sleep could help prevent the common cold. During the study, researchers tracked more than 150 people and monitored their sleep habits for two weeks. After participants were exposed to the cold virus, researchers found that those who got seven (or less) hours of sleep a night were almost three times as likely to get sick as those who got at least eight hours of nightly sleep.
So if 2018 is the year to achieve your ideal body weight, improve your health, get skilled at a new hobby, and focus on your happiness - all while staying clear of the common cold and flu - you must prioritize sleep.