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Exercise regularly, but not too close to bedtime.
The best part of waking up - a good night's sleep
Start the New Year Right

As we ring in the new year, it’s time to make a resolution that you won’t regret making a week into the New Year: getting more sleep! Every year, we make resolutions to get more exercise, to stick to the new “it” diet, to quit smoking – so why not make another healthy resolution that will be much easier (and more enjoyable) to keep, and has many of the same benefits as the resolutions listed above?

The healthy benefits of getting more sleep are endless. Besides the obvious, which includes feeling better and being able to maintain a more steady focus on everyday activities, getting adequate amounts of sleep helps prevent hypertension, obesity, depression and the potential for having a heart attack or stroke. It can even give you healthier skin!

If that’s not enough to get you to dedicate more time to sleeping this year, consider this: a study by the University of Wisconsin found that people with untreated sleep apnea (a condition characterized by episodes of stopped breathing during sleep, and often exhibited by snoring) are at three times greater risk of dying from any cause than those without the condition. On top of that, researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center recently found that an extra hour of sleep every night could reduce the risk of calcification in the arteries, a precursor to heart disease.

Let’s take the sleeping resolution one step further. If you’re getting adequate amounts of sleep, but feel like you’re exhibiting signs of a sleep disorder, I urge you to drop into a sleep center for a sleep study this year.

To review, some symptoms of sleep disorders include:

  • Snoring
  • Insomnia
  • Brief periods of not breathing and/or choking or gasping during sleep
  • Waking during sleep and restless sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness and falling asleep at inappropriate times
  • Personality changes/disorders 
  • Depression 
  • Loss of concentration 
  • Morning headaches

So when you go to make your resolution this year, remember that a resolution for a healthier you doesn’t always call for “no pain, no gain”. Sometimes, it just requires a little more effort in making sure you’re staying healthy and treating your body right.

Here’s to a happy, healthy New Year to all!