When a new year arrives, many of us look to the future and think about how we can improve our everyday lives. Some will hope to build on their health and fitness, whilst others will dream of progressing in their careers. There are plenty of goals made each time a new year rolls around, but how many are actually pursued?
Research from Strava suggests that the majority of New Year’s resolutions fail just a couple of weeks into January. With the January lull kicking in and motivations running low, all whilst trying to get back into a routine after the festive period, the start of the year can be tough and introducing change can be even more so.
Sleep plays a tremendous role in how well we perform throughout every aspect of our daily lives. If you’ve set yourself some 2018 goals and are looking for ways to keep on track, read on to discover just how important sleep is for your success and how to go about improving your own sleep routine, in order to meet those goals.
Quality vs Quantity of sleep
For quite some time, it was recommended that we aim to get between 7-8 hours of sleep every night, to improve our health and overall lifestyle. However, more recent studies suggest that the quality of our sleep is much more important than how long we sleep for. For example, one person might have 8 hours of light sleep with a lot of tossing and turning, whilst another person might have 6 hours of deep, undisturbed sleep in comparison.
It all boils down to how long it takes to enter the REM sleep cycle, as well as how long we remain within it. This is the biggest influence for how well we sleep. As such, it’s important to make sure you’re allowing your mind and body enough time to rest and slowly enter a sleep, as well having the right environment to allow you to remain within a deep sleep for as long as possible. A combination of quality and quantity will provide you with the best night’s sleep to help you reach your 2018 goals.
The influence of sleep on your goals
It’s important to understand how lack of sleep could have a negative impact on your own specific goals, to stand you in good stead of achieving those goals and to better your overall health, too.
Sleep held builds motivation
In order to achieve your 2018 goals, you need to be thoroughly focused on the task at hand, as well as having the motivation to do so. Without the recommended levels of sleep, you’ll find it much harder to stay focused and motivated, as well as lacking the ability to learn new things. Research from Harvard found that the REM and deep sleep stages of our sleeping cycle can help us to retain facts and “how-to” knowledge, which help you to recall information which could be needed as part of achieving your goals.
Sleep gets the creative juices flowing
If your 2018 goals involve creativity in some way, shape or form, then a good night’s sleep will certainly help you on your way to meeting them. Without the recommended hours and quality of sleep, over time, you’ll begin to feel the effects of fatigue, which can prevent your brain from performing as well as it could.
Studies have found that with a good quality sleep each night, you’re more likely to be able to creatively connect less obvious patterns and form more unique ideas from this.
Sleep will help to prevent mistakes
Missing out on vital sleep can make you much more likely to make mistakes in everyday life. Whether you’re planning on building on your education, trying out a new fitness routine, or even focusing on your career development and taking on more tasks, without quality sleep, your 2018 goals could suffer.
This is due to sleep deprivation causing fatigue which in turn, can make your focus more blurred. Whatever your goals may be, mistakes can cause a huge hindrance on your success, something that can be easily rectified by making time for sleep.
Your health benefits from sleep
Quality sleep can support your immune system and overall well-being, two factors that are guaranteed to have an impact on achieving your goals. Making time for sleep can help to ward off common colds and other pesky illnesses that can cause you to feel lethargic.
When you’re not feeling your fittest, you’ll be much less motivated to pursue any new goals and instead, will choose to stick with your current routine to get by. Over time, your goals will be stalled and it could take you twice as long, if not more, to reach your goals.
Sleep will put you in the mood to succeed
Waking up feeling rested and revitalised is a surefire way of achieving your goals for the year. You’ll feel much happier in yourself and will have a much more positive outlook on life than you would with sleep deprivation. Starting the day as you mean to go on will prepare you for what’s ahead, that is, working hard to reach the goals that you’ve set yourself.
Make quality sleep part of your 2018 goals
If you struggle to get the right amount of sleep every night, or find yourself waking up at regular intervals throughout, it’s worthwhile looking at how you could improve your sleep. This should be a priority ahead of your 2018 goals, as you’ll find it much easier to succeed with them if you begin to sleep more soundly.