Can’t Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions? Try These Simple Tips!

If you’re already having some trouble with holding yourself to your New Year’s resolutions, just a few weeks into 2017, you might need some more sleep.

Sleep experts at the University of Michigan have discovered that getting a good night’s rest (meaning between seven and eight hours a night) can be linked to more than just the already well-known benefits, such as a stronger immune system and a sharper mind. Sleep has been shown to also be responsible for helping you to achieve your resolutions, from kicking bad habits to losing those last ten pounds.

Researchers have found that there are some underlying but all-important differences in our behavior when we are getting enough sleep on a regular basis. Getting at least seven hours of sack time each night has been proven to increase both motivation and willpower. Who can’t use more of that, especially this time of year?

And some of the most common New Year’s resolutions, such as losing weight and eating healthier, are directly affected by how much sleep you are getting. Losing out on sleep decreases your levels of leptin, the hormone that leaves you feeling full and satisfied, and also boost ghrelin, which has been shown to lead to eating more and making poor food choices.

Furthermore, your weight loss goals can be left unfulfilled by lack of motivation to hit the gym, caused by sleep loss and feeling groggier than you would if you were getting enough rest. Studies on athletes have proven that the longer and better they sleep, the better they performed.

Smokers may also find it harder to quit if they’re not spending enough time in bed. Sleep deprivation has been directly linked to a higher level of nicotine dependence, as smokers tend to use cigarettes as a crutch for being able to concentrate or even relieve stress.

So how can you cash in on the benefits of getting more sleep, and turn those resolutions you’ve made into reality? Check out these tips from sleep experts!

Tips for Better Sleep

• Make sleep a priority

• Give yourself a “wind down” period before bed

• Practice relaxation (yoga, calming music, reading, etc.)

• Set a sleep schedule by turning in and waking up at the same time

• Just “say no” to alcohol and caffeine at least 3 hours before bedtime

• Dim the lights in the house when you know it’s time to turn in

• Ditch all electronic devices before you hit the hay

Taking the time and making the effort to help yourself get better sleep each and every night, and not just when you feel like you have the time is a great way to help you achieve the goals that you set for yourself in the new year.

And as a bonus, you can even count getting better sleep as a resolution in and of itself! So get ready to check better health, happiness, and all the other benefits that come with a good night’s rest off of your to-do list. How sweet is that?