2023 is a whole new year full of potential and opportunities! Not least an opportunity to improve your sleep.
Getting enough sleep, regularly can have significant benefits for your physical and mental well-being, as well as your overall quality of life. Here are some tips for prioritising sleep:
- Establish a consistent sleep schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment: Make sure your sleep environment is cool, dark, and quiet, and consider using comfortable bedding and pillows.
- Avoid stimulating activities before bed: Avoid activities that can interfere with sleep, such as using electronics, watching TV, or engaging in high-energy activities before bedtime.
- Develop a bedtime routine: Establish a relaxing bedtime routine that can help signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol: Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime, as they can interfere with sleep quality.
Remember, making these changes can take time, but they can have significant benefits for your health and well-being.
Getting enough sleep can play a significant role in weight loss by supporting a healthy metabolism. If you’re not getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night, it might be affecting your ability to lose weight. That may seem a little counterintuitive to some people. After all, the more time we spend awake and active, the more calories we burn, right?
Here are some ways that getting enough sleep can help with weight loss:
- Regulates hormones: Sleep plays an important role in regulating hormones that affect appetite and metabolism. Lack of sleep can lead to an increase in the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and a decrease in the satiety hormone, leptin, which can increase the risk of overeating and weight gain.
- Improves metabolism: Sleep deprivation can negatively impact metabolism by reducing the body’s ability to use insulin properly, which can lead to insulin resistance and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, lack of sleep can lead to a slower resting metabolic rate, which can reduce the number of calories burned at rest.
- Reduces stress: Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to higher levels of stress hormones like cortisol, which can increase the risk of weight gain and difficulty losing weight.
- Increases energy levels: Getting enough sleep can help improve energy levels, making it easier to engage in physical activity and burn more calories throughout the day.
A 2004 study found that ghrelin levels were almost 15% higher in people who didn’t get enough sleep, and leptin levels were 15.5% lower, causing them to feel hungry more often. So if you’re determined to lose weight this year, getting enough sleep can go a long way to helping you reach that goal.
2. Get more exercise
Getting in shape is always a commendable goal. Getting your heart rate up, staying active, improving flexibility, and building strength are all excellent ways to help you stay healthy and feel your best.
But if you’re not getting the sleep you need, getting motivated to hit the gym or go for a run can be a much bigger challenge than it needs to, and you’re likely to get tired out faster and not see the results as quickly as you would if you’re regularly enjoying a good night’s sleep.
Here are some ways that getting enough sleep can help you get more exercise:
- Improves physical performance: Getting enough sleep can help improve physical performance by supporting muscle recovery and reducing the risk of injury. Lack of sleep can also lead to decreased reaction time, poor coordination, and reduced endurance, all of which can impact exercise performance.
- Creates a powerful synergy: Adequate sleep is important for supporting mental wellbeing and reducing stress levels. Exercise is also a known stress reliever, so combining adequate sleep and regular exercise can create a powerful synergy for reducing stress and supporting overall mental health.
- Helps regulate appetite: Getting enough sleep can help regulate appetite by balancing hormones that control hunger and satiety. This can help prevent overeating and support a healthy diet, which is an important part of an active lifestyle.
In short, getting the biggest return on the effort you put into your workout requires a proper night’s sleep, and seeing those results is an excellent way to stay motivated.
3. Spend more time with family
We’re all looking to make the most of our time, but we also obviously have responsibilities that need to be attended to. Whether you’re working a 9-5 job, running a small business, or a stay-at-home mum, by the time you’ve tackled everything that needs to be done in a day, there’s hardly any time to just get together as a family and enjoy each other’s company.
We can’t increase the number of hours in a day, but we can increase our productivity, freeing up time to do the things we love, and to do so, all you need to do is get to bed on time.
According to Dr. Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program, “Many people believe that in order to get more done, they need to sacrifice sleep. This study shows that, quite to the contrary, poor sleep is associated with lower productivity in general, and specifically across a wide range of areas.”
So, simply put, even though you may be getting to bed earlier, that extra sleep will increase your productivity to the point where you’ll actually have more time during the day to spend doing the things you love.
Here are some ways that getting enough sleep can help you spend more time with your family:
- Improves mood: Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, mood swings, and difficulty managing emotions. Getting enough sleep can help improve mood and reduce the risk of conflicts or misunderstandings with family members.
- Supports mental wellbeing: This can help you feel more relaxed and present when spending time with your family, making it easier to enjoy quality time together.
- Reduces the risk of illness: Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a weakened immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. Getting enough sleep can help support a healthy immune system, reducing the risk of getting sick and missing out on family activities.
Overall, getting enough sleep can help you feel more energised, improve your mood, support your mental wellbeing, and reduce the risk of illness. All of these factors can help you spend more quality time with your family and fully enjoy the moments you have together.
4. Eating Healthier
Check this out. A 2013 study actually found that sleep deprivation led to significantly higher cravings for foods that were high in fat and/or sugar. You can check out the article for all of the science-y stuff, but I’ll let the study’s authors explain it in layman’s terms.
“What we have discovered is that high-level brain regions required for complex judgments and decisions become blunted by a lack of sleep, while more primal brain structures that control motivation and desire are amplified.
These results shed light on how the brain becomes impaired by sleep deprivation, leading to the selection of more unhealthy foods and, ultimately, higher rates of obesity,”
So getting enough sleep can actually make it easier for you to eat right. How great is that!?
Here are some ways that getting enough sleep can help you eat healthier:
- Reduces cravings: Lack of sleep can lead to an increase in cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. Getting enough sleep can help reduce these cravings, making it easier to resist unhealthy foods and choose healthier options instead.
- Increases mindfulness: Adequate sleep can help improve focus and concentration, making it easier to be more mindful when making food choices. This can help you make healthier choices and avoid mindless snacking or overeating.
- Improves willpower: Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a weakened willpower, making it harder to resist temptation and make healthy food choices. Getting enough sleep can help improve willpower, making it easier to stick to a healthy diet and avoid unhealthy foods.
Overall, getting enough sleep can help you regulate hunger hormones, reduce cravings, increase mindfulness, and improve willpower, all of which can support a healthy diet and make it easier to eat healthier.
And there you have it, people. If you want to set yourself up for success in 2023, there’s one habit you can focus on that’ll make all the others much easier to achieve. Get to bed on time, turn off those screens at least an hour before you hit the hay, leave your phone in the living room, and take the time to wind down before bed.
And if you’re not sleeping well because your little one is waking up in the night, we should talk! Solving your baby’s sleep issues is the first step to solving your own, and I’ve helped a lot of families do exactly that.
Book your free call here:https://fivestarsleepers.com/the-contact-page/
By Jill Lawson
My services are not medical advice. The advice you receive from me is for informational purposes only and is intended for use with common early childhood sleep issues that are wholly unrelated to medical conditions. My advice is NOT intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health practitioner regarding any matters that may require medical attention or diagnosis, and before following the advice and using the techniques described in The Sleep SenseTM Program. Reliance on any information provided by Five Star Sleepers® is solely at your own risk
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