With your New Year resolutions panning out like never before – ya’ know, all that working out, dieting, and tango dancing you’re doing – you’re probably starting to feel pretty worn out. And, let’s be honest, you’re probably getting ready to quit. It’s okay, you’re not alone – most resolutions don’t often make it past March – if they even make it into February. So, how about trying something easier? We guarantee our suggestion will be simpler to pursue and can provide you with just as much (if not more) benefit than what you already have planned. Want to know what it is?
If you crave it, you’re likely not getting enough. We’ve got three tricks up our sleeve, though, that’ll help you master this beast once and for all. Let’s do it.
Keep your schedule consistent: Here’s a page you can steal from the shift-worker playbook. In order for shift workers to stay healthy and free from exhaustion at work, they follow two simple rules: they regiment their sleep schedule each day of the week (including off days) and they consume their meals at times that parallel those waking hours. Skipping meals, or shifting one’s schedule from nights to days on the weekends throws everything off kilter. The key is sticking to a schedule. Try it out yourself for two weeks – from there, it’ll be automatic. Avoid sleeping in on the weekends, and rise and slumber near the same time each day. We guarantee you’ll feel more energized after just a few weeks of this. Need some help? Try a new app called Sleep Cycle. If you’ve got a smart phone, or even a newer iPad or iTouch, you can use this app to wake yourself up without an alarm clock. It’s amazing. Trust us.
Get More Sunlight: Did you know you can reset your body’s clock with a camping trip? Yep. It seems the secret ingredient is exposure to the sun – something camping provides in spades. Since the invention of the light bulb, however, humans just aren’t getting enough exposure to natural light. What can you do?
- Get sun exposure soon after waking, and several times throughout the day.
- Go outside for a quick walk if you can during your workday, or, if it’s too cold to take in the great outdoors, find a window in your office with good sun exposure and enjoy the outdoors from inside. The exposure your eyes and skin will receive – even through a window – will help keep your body’s clock on track.
- Lastly, try to go without the computer and smart phone when you get home – such devices trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime. The same goes for television viewing. If you absolutely must be on your computer, use a program called Flux, which dims your screen to match the outside ambiance. Realistically, though, your parents didn’t need a computer before bedtime when you were a kid, and just a few years ago you didn’t either, so see if you can muster up the discipline to try this one out … it is resolution time after all, right?
Are You Snoring?: If you suffer from bouts of loud snoring, a regularly sore or dry throat upon waking, or are sometimes startled awake by a choking or gasping sensation, you may have a potentially life-threatening condition called sleep apnea.
It’s possible you’ve already heard about sleep apnea, and perhaps you even recognize you have some of the symptoms. Ignoring these early warning signs, however, is a mistake. Some of the complications of sleep apnea are also likely to sound familiar, even if you didn’t know that sleep apnea can be a cause. They include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks
- Worsening of ADHD
Sleep apnea is serious business, and should never be ignored. If you or anyone in your family is experiencing these symptoms, please come in for a consultation. Solving sleep apnea issues can be easier than you think, and you (and your loved ones) will be glad you called us.
To get the most out of life in the New Year, you’ve got to first consider the foundation of happiness: your health. So, try these tips on for size, and aim to get better rest this year!