There are a couple of New Year’s Resolutions that seem to pop up for most people each year: eat less (or, at least, more healthily) and exercise more.
Luckily, we have a very simple way of helping you stick to those resolutions into 2020 and beyond. For anyone looking to make 2020 their year, sleep is the best place to start. Sound like you’re your kind of resolution? Read on…
Numerous studies have demonstrated a clear link between a lack of sleep and weight gain, lack of willpower (especially when it comes to what and how much to eat), and low mood. In a nutshell, without enough sleep, your other New Year’s Resolutions become much harder to stick to.
Another interesting way of looking at adequate, quality sleep is to classify it as a ‘keystone habit’ - an idea that was first introduced in Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit. Keystone habits are small changes you can make that unintentionally carry over into other areas of your life. In other words, keystone habits create a domino effect that positively impacts other areas of your life.
Several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of keystone habits. For example, one study showed that when participants lifted weights for two months, other positive habits were triggered; they began to eat healthier, reduced their alcohol intake, cut down on smoking, studied more and became tidier. Another showed that when participants kept detailed logs of everything they bought for four months, one positive habit multiplied into many, with improvements in diet, exercise, productivity and caffeine and alcohol consumption evidenced.
Let’s say then, you improve your sleep. You now achieve regular, quality sleep and as a result, you go the gym more, are motivated to prepare your lunch at home rather than buy something unhealthy and expensive on-the-go, and are notably more productive and enthusiastic at work. Who knows what other positive habits the domino effect will generate?
So if you are serious about your New Year’s Resolutions, put sleep at the top of your list; it’s the one resolution that may actually help you keep all the others.
PS – it’s OK to delay your Sleep Resolution until you’ve seen the New Year in with a bang and a few Gin Martinis. We’re not unreasonable.
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NB: This article is for information purposes, and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, or have symptoms which prevent you from sleeping well, you should contact your medical practitioner.