Most of us are considering some New Years resolutions at this time of year.

Perhaps these might include a more healthy diet, getting fitter, completing a sporting achievement or considering a career change!

Does making a commitment to getting more sleep make it onto your list? By improving the quality and quantity of your family’s sleep however, it could make all of the above resolutions more achievable and enjoyable.

How does a simple good nights sleep achieve all this?

The above article is simplistic but accurate. In addition sporting prowess is enhanced the day after a good night’s sleep, helping to improve any training that may be a personal resolution.

But I already sleep well – why make this a priority?

By increasing your length of sleep you will feel the benefits immediately. Even if 6-7 hours is your norm (and a lot of adults get less) try aiming for 8 hours to achieve the changes above. You will feel more mentally alert, need less caffeine and carbohydrates. You will also use up more calories when doing the exercise you have committed to.

Use those resolutions for a dry and healthy January to good effect!

By stopping alcohol for the popular ‘dry January’ resolution you will see other benefits that just giving the liver a rest. Alcohol reduces the amount of REM sleep a person has over night – even if the duration of sleep is healthy.

By reducing the REM sleep, we do not wake up mentally refreshed as the brain has not been able to process the days emotions and anxieties as effectively. This leads to a more anxiety the day after.

So that dry January should help your mood, ambitions and resolutions just as much as improving the health of your liver!

What about diet?

The body is designed to have a period of fasting overnight to enable it to repair without doing too many other functions. By making a resolution of a healthy diet and reducing processed foods we know we can improve our overall health.

But did you know how crucial sleep is for our weight?

As quoted in his blog ‘Understanding the connection between sleep and diabetes’ Dr Breus states…

Sleep itself affects insulin activity and blood sugar
According to a growing body of research, insufficient and poor-quality sleep can decrease insulin sensitivity and decrease glucose tolerance (a measurement of how quickly and effectively the body removes glucose from the bloodstream). And it doesn’t take months or years for these negative effects to kick in.
A single night of total sleep deprivation decreased insulin sensitivity more than 6 months of a high-fat diet, according to a 2016 study.
Partial sleep deprivation—the kind of chronic sleep debt many people experience on a routine basis—decreases the body’s ability to use insulin effectively, and keep blood sugar balanced. After a week of sleeping 5 hours a night, a group of healthy men saw significant reductions to insulin sensitivity, reported scientists in a 2010 study.
Living with a chronic sleep loss also diminishes glucose tolerance, making the body less effective at converting glucose to energy. And disrupted sleep interferes with the body’s ability to regulate glucose throughout the day and night.

In conclusion those resolutions will be much easier to achieve if you commit to a good nights sleep every night!

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