Ring in the New Year with Better Sleep

Guitar strapped to his back, enjoying a nice December evening in beautiful Lakes Park (Fort Myers, Florida). Walk every day for 30 minutes to increase the quality of your sleep. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

Ring in the New Year with Better Sleep — well, here’s an oxymoron:

An article about sleeping on New Year’s Eve.

While it may see counterintuitive to talk about sleeping on the one night most of the world doesn’t sleep enough, it’s worth a conversation.

The health costs that arise from sleep deprivation include over $2+ billion spent treating conditions associated with sleep deprivation including:

  • sleep apnea,
  • narcolepsy,
  • restless leg syndrome and
  • seizures.

Accidents result in the loss of a further $3.5 billion, and economic inefficiency costs more than $400 billion.

The study titled ‘Why sleep matters..’ as reported in Fortune magazine determined that lack of sleep or poor sleep habits is costing the US workforce approximately 411 Billion dollars is lost productivity and 1.2 million work days annually.  

It is vital that we learn to manage our sleep debt.

Here are 5 practices you can implement (maybe not tonight but definitely on Jan 2) to help you consistently achieve a better night’s sleep and sub sequentially a better day’s performance.

5 best practices to catch up on sleep:

  1. Go to bed when you are tired.
    This may sound obvious, but so many people don’t do it. Start your bedtime routine earlier than usual and as soon as you feel tired, go to bed.

  2. Establish a routine and environment that promote sleep.
    Don’t wait until your eyes are sliding shut on the sofa. Set a firm bed time, and stick to it. Disconnect all screens and devices, sleep in a dark, well-ventilated room and use natural linens. Drink a glass of water before bed and another when you wake up.

  3. Be patient.
    Don’t expect to get ten hours sleep on the first night, or to make up for a huge sleep debt in one lazy weekend. Be patient. It may take your body two weeks to make up for one week of late nights.

  4. Bank it.
    Sleep as much as you can, even after you’ve recovered your sleep debt. Please don’t misunderstand, I am not suggesting loafing around the house for days on end, but additional increments of sleep will continue to benefit you as you pursue your health and wellness goals. Over time, you will find it easier to cope with future sleep debts when they occur if you have a decent bank of sleep to draw from.

  5. Treat sleep like a doctor’s appointment.
    Sleep has at least as much benefit as diet and exercise as it is during hours of sleep that your body repairs tissue, rejuvenates the soul and reenergizes. Respect your sleep and treat it as an important part of your health regimen. Protect your bedtimes and sleep routines like you would any doctors’ appointment.

As we move into the new year, keep in mind that insufficient and poor-quality sleep can also have wide-ranging negative impacts on everything from health (memory loss, problems concentrating, mood changes, weakened immunity, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain) to productivity.

If you have any hope of achieving your goals this year, plan to get your zzz’s accordingly.

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