Getting a good night’s sleep is an excellent health goal any time of year!
Did you know that eating healthfully and exercising regularly are only two pieces of the puzzle when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight? Another key piece is sleep! Too often, sleep goes out the window as we run around doing everything we need to do. From cooking healthy meals to taking care of work commitments, you’re busy right? If you have kids, add picking them up from school and soccer practice. Most adults are constantly on the go! It’s no surprise then that over 35% of adults don’t get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night (CDC.gov). Not sleeping enough is associated with higher disease risk as well as weight gain, even in kids. People who do get sufficient sleep report better overall health. I can’t think of a better reason to put sleep at the top of this year’s New Year Resolutions list! Write down your obstacles and solutions to getting a good night sleep. For example, if the bed is too cold, consider buying flannel sheets, a heating blanket or putting a heating pad on the bed 15 minutes before you go to sleep.
Here are some tips to get the best sleep possible:
- Aim to sleep at the same time every night, and rise at the same time every morning, including weekends when possible.
- Avoid large, heavy meals before bedtime.
- Avoid drinking caffeine too late in the day (it’ll keep you awake!).
- Exercise regularly—it’s linked to higher-quality sleep and will help you fall asleep faster.
- Schedule TV time and web time, instead of mindless surfing! Forgo sitting on the couch and work-out to a pre-recorded show. You’ll watch less TV, if you only watch scheduledDon’t watch TV in bed—reserve your bed for sleeping, cuddling, and intimacy.
- Turn off all electrical devices 30 minutes before bed. If you struggle with this, keep your cell phone, tablets and other devices in a charging station outside of where you sleep. If you need an alarm clock, invest in an old-school alarm clock.
- If you have kids teach them the importance of sleep, then have them make it a resolution, too!