Adding this one New Year’s resolution to your list will help ensure you achieve all the other resolutions: Sleep more. We’re talking approximately eight hours per night!
Nothing compares to the benefits of getting enough sleep. In fact, studies have shown that inadequate sleep over time can shorten your lifespan. Trading sleep to cram more into the day increases your risk of developing serious medical conditions, especially when you factor in additional bad habits of poor nutrition and lack of exercise.
Reducing sleep from the recommended eight hours per night by two to three hours can have dramatic consequences to your health.
Risk of sleeping only six to seven hours
- Cardiovascular disease – Missing just an hour or two per night is associated with a greatly increased risk of coronary artery calcification which is a predictor of future heart attacks.
- Common cold and immune function – If you get less than seven hours of sleep per night you are about three times as likely to get a common cold. Studies have shown that people who get eight hours of sleep are also less likely to come down with cold symptoms.
Risk of sleeping six hours or less
- Obesity – Several studies have shown a correlation of obesity and lack of sleep. People who sleep less than 6 hours per night are more likely to have excess body weight. So, if weight loss is another one of your New Year’s resolutions be sure to add getting eight hours of sleep to the top of your list.
Risk of sleeping five hours or less
- Diabetes – Sleeping fewer than five hours have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while sleeping eight hours can have positive influences on blood sugar control for those who already have it.
- High Blood Pressure – Sleeping less than five hours per night puts you at risk of developing or worsening high blood pressure.
An analysis of data from three separate studies suggests that sleeping five or fewer hours
per night may increase mortality risk by as much as 15 percent. – Harvard Medical Study
After several days of missing sleep your body begins to give you signals, such as feeling tired and irritable, with some serious side effects such as brain fog and inability to concentrate or make decisions. This means if being more productive is one of your New Year’s resolutions, getting enough sleep should be at the top of your list.
Tips for getting enough sleep
It will take more than a New Year’s resolution to change your sleeping habits. Here are some tips that will help you make the change to better health and longer life:
- Set your internal body clock by creating a regular sleep schedule.
- Wind down before bedtime.
- Make your bedroom a relaxing environment.
- Keep a sleep diary so you can review your habits.
- Check the comfort of your mattress.
Replacing your mattress for a more comfortable mattress just might be the best purchase you make for your health.
It may be time to replace your old mattress for one that is more comfortable if you:
- Wake up tired
- Suffer from allergies from the dust that collects on old mattresses
- Have back or body aches
- Just can’t get comfortable
The type of mattress you choose depends on your personal needs. There are mattresses for side sleepers versus back sleepers, those that give back pain relief, and those designed to be orthopedic.
Adding the goal of “Getting eight hours of sleep” to your New Year’s resolution list and investing in a comfortable mattress could be a life changer for the coming year.