Get More Sleep: The Most Important New Year’s Resolution
You’ve probably heard a million times how getting a good night’s sleep can be the foundation for enjoying a higher quality of life. From keeping resolutions, like eating healthier, to having more energy to devote toward exercise, getting good sleep is key to making improvements in your life. A good night’s sleep can even benefit your career by helping you obtain that promotion you’ve been wanting. For now, let’s take a quick look at the science and facts behind getting good sleep and how you can alter your sleeping patterns to improve your overall well-being.
The Fundamental Sense of Getting Good Sleep
It may seem like common sense, but a lot of people fail to realize just how fundamental it is to get good sleep. In fact, according to a sleep physician at Michigan Medicine, Cathy Goldstein, “we definitely take sleep as a luxury.” Although we may not intentionally change up our sleep habits so that we aren’t receiving enough shut-eye, the results can still be very detrimental. And unfortunately, for many of us who change up our sleep schedules, we fail to realize that we are not getting enough sleep to properly accommodate our work and leisure demands. This low-quality sleep can definitely have negative impacts on our resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more, climb the ladder in our places of employment, and much more. Take for example a person who is enduring interpersonal issues with a significant other. Goldstein says, “A person’s mood is going to be worse when they don’t sleep,” which means this fatigue can hinder the collaboration and healing processes of a partnership that has endured damage.
For those who are wanting to eat healthier, sleep is of the utmost importance. Studies have shown that people who stay up late and eat during the nighttime are more likely to weigh more. And regardless of whether a person is actually staying up all hours of the night, if enough sleep and proper rest are not being obtained, this will cause a person to make poor meal choices, which, of course, can lead to weight gain. Why does this happen? Because ” Sleep restriction decreases one’s levels of leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full) and boosts ghrelin, which collectively increases appetite and alters food choices in a negative way.”
How Much Sleep Does a Person Really Need?
You’ve probably heard again and again that you need at least eight hours of sleep a night. Truth is, though, your age is the largest influencing factor on how much sleep you actually need. Newborns are between 0 to 3 months old will need anywhere from 14 to 17 hours a day of sleep. 4 to 11-month-old infants require about 12 to 15 hours of sleep, while toddlers between the ages of one to two years need 11 to 14 hours a day. Once a child hits his preschool years, only about 10 to 13 hours of sleep are needed, and school-age children need about nine to 11 hours. Teenagers need anywhere from eight to 10 hours, while young adults still need to squeeze in about seven to nine hours a night. Once a person reaches 26 years old, at least seven hours of sleep will be needed, with some needing as much as nine hours a night.
If your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to get more sleep appropriate for your age, then you should make changes accordingly. Doing so can lead to a much better life, including the ability to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, like eating healthier, being more productive at your job, and even improving your relationship with your significant other. Today is the day to make the changes you need to get a better night’s sleep. In fact, this New Year’s is the perfect time to make the most important resolution ever — to create a routine that improves your sleeping patterns.