Friday, January 16, 2009

The Easiest New Year's Resolution Ever

We all agonize over our New Year's resolutions. What shall we try to accomplish this year? Losing thirty pounds? Again? Dusting off that treadmill sitting in the basement? Organizing the overstuffed garage or paying off your credit card bills?

How about trying something revolutionary this year. Make a New Year's resolution that you'll keep.

Make a resolution to get enough sleep in 2009. Go to bed a little earlier. Or get up a little later. Or sleep in longer on the weekends. Make sleep a priority.

If you do this, you'll:
--Have fewer colds and illnesses.
--Control your weight more easily.
--Reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes
--Have a clearer memory.
--Reduce inflammation in your body.
--Decrease depression.
--Repair cell damage faster.

It goes beyond these benefits though. If you get adequate sleep, you'll feel better! You'll find more joy in life and have more energy throughout the day to accomplish all those tasks on your to-do list (and those other resolutions). Sleep will do you as much good as the other difficult resolutions. And it's not nearly as hard as exercising everyday, following a low-carb diet, or cutting up your credit cards.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree. As a college student, staying up late to study for the big test, to do one more homework assignment, or perhaps just to play one more map in Halo 3 is the norm (and seems necessary for social survival). As far as new year's resolutions, "getting buff for the ladies" and "learn how a beer bong works" are the pervasive options at my school. So why not make a realistic, meaningful, and healthy choice like this one instead?

Teresa said...

I have totally noticed that I stick to my diet better if I have had enough sleep. What you have said in your blog about making a New Year's resolution to get more sleep is a great idea. I have been trying to go to sleep at a more regular time and a little earlier than I used to. I would like even more suggestions on getting enough sleep. Anyone have any other suggestions?

Lisa Ray Turner & Robert Turner said...

Hey, Anonymous, getting buff for the ladies and learning how a beer bong work sound like lousy options! You're right that sleeping is a healthier option. You'll feel much better in the morning too.

Lisa said...

Teresa, I love your comment about being able to stick to healthy eating easier when you get enough sleep. I've noticed this too. I have more resolve to do everything when I get enough sleep.

About suggestions to get more sleep ... well, sometimes that's a little tougher in our busy world. Is it really as simple as making it a priority? Maybe skipping a late-night TV show to go to bed.

Anonymous said...

I am a full time college student and being awake and having energy for the day is a necessity. I have started going to bed earlier and waking up earlier. I have noticed that I have more energy throughout the day. Even my grades have improved (seriously). Getting more rest gives me the energy to complete the tasks that I have for the day.

Bonnieraykennan said...

When I sleep well, the heavens open and life is great!!! Your suggestion to make a sleep-related New Year's Resolution is an excellent one! I believe that it is one that would positively impact all of the others. I am eager for behavioral suggestions on improving the quality of my sleep. It is an ongoing challenge.

Lisa Ray Turner & Robert Turner said...

Love the way you put it, Bonnie. It does make a huge difference in how we feel.

Susan said...

Like Teresa I feel that getting enough sleep helps me to eat better and a more reasonable amount as well. It seems that when I don't get enough sleep my body attempts to compensate for that lack of vital energy by eating more to get my energy through calories so I spend my sleep-deprived days eating and feeling gross.

Anonymous said...

Why stay up late? There's less and less on TV these days. A good book will give me better dreams and I'll already be snuggled into bed with pillows and blankets. Jean

Lisa Ray Turner & Robert Turner said...

Jean, you're making me want to head straight to bed with a great novel! (It's 24 degrees today - maybe that's why.)