Resolve to sleep more as a New Year’s resolution, because scientific study shows that, “You are 10 times more likely to stick to a change made at the New Year,” and other studies say you’re even more successful if you get the support of others. So now is the time to make those commitments, as we approach the year’s end. This video and article will help.
In the referenced study, the #1 lifestyle change that people wanted was to Lose Weight, followed by Exercise More and Quit Smoking. But there’s another you should consider – SLEEP More – because of all the health benefits that sleep offers, and because it makes those other goals easier to meet.
Why isn’t Sleep already on the list of desired lifestyle changes? The answer is likely because our modern society values busyness and workaholism and sees sleep as a waste of time; but that attitude is starting to change thanks to a growing mass of mainstream press articles touting sleep benefits, and public awareness campaigns such as the Discovery Channel’s “Sleepless In America” documentary, which I summarize here.
Resolve to Sleep More, but Start Small
It wouldn’t hurt to scan our 70 Tips To Improve Sleep, but don’t think you need to jump in and do them all. Instead, start with little things that take no continued effort, such as:
- Remove all sources of blue light in the bedroom, including the TV and your phone (see How Light from Electronics Affects Sleep).
- Replace your LED nightlights with orange versions like the ones my friends at Intelligent Sleep sell.
- If you tend to use a computer at night, install the free app lux since it dims your display as bedtime approaches and removes most of the bluish light.
- And if your mattress shows its age, replace it, and maybe a pillow too. I recommend IntelliBED as the best sleep wellness mattress, because it uses non-toxic materials, has the right balance between support (spinal alignment) and comfort (pressure relief), and offers industry leading durability and a 30-year warranty. That’s what I sleep on.
Resolve to Sleep More, but Get Motivated
Learn about the risks of poor sleep and the benefits of good sleep and think of how those benefits apply to you personally. Here’s some places to start:
- Watch Arianna Huffington’s TED Talk on The Need & Positive Effects of Restorative Sleep.
- Read Arianna’s new book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life.
- Watch the full documentary, “Sleepless in America,” which I referenced above.
- Read my article, The Economic Value of Sleep.
- Scan through my other Sleep articles here, and read the ones you find most interesting.
Resolve to Sleep More, but Get Help
Studies show that it takes about 21 days of repetition to create a new habit or change a lifestyle. That’s why you have better weight loss success when joining a group like Weight Watchers, and better exercise success if you join a class or hire a personal trainer. Changing sleep habits poses the same challenges, which is why the experts at Intelligent Sleep act as personal trainers for sleep and brain health. If you live in Central Texas, give them a call at 512-306-1833 to schedule a personal assessment, which is free if you mention this article.
Related Videos by Dr. Michael Evans
I’ve long been a big fan of Dr. Evans and the effectiveness of his whiteboard presentations. In 23 and ½ Hours, he says modest exercise (30 minutes of walking) is the single best thing you can do for your health, but I think Sleep is slightly higher in importance, and I’ve spoken to him about that. I suggested doing a similar presentation on sleep, but so far he’s not found the budget for that. The closest he’s come so far is a video on Stress, listed below with several other related videos.
- 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? (9:18)
- Let’s Make Our Day Harder (4:01)
- What’s the Best Diet? Healthy Eating 101 (15:01 min)
- What is the single best drink for your health? (4:09)
- What is the Single Best Thing You Can Do to Quit Smoking? (12:47)
- Saving Brains, A Grand Challenge (9:12)
- 90:10 The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Stress (11:00) This video mentions mindfulness and cognitive behavior therapy, treatments we often use at Intelligent Sleep.