There will be countless New Year’s resolutions, most never really pursued or fulfilled, as people enter 2014. People will resolve to lose weight, make more money, take a long-dreamed-of vacation, fall in love, get married, get divorced — but how many will actually see that improving their sleep might be the most important New Year’s resolution of them all?
In this day and age of constant visual and aural assault from televisions, tablets, cell phones and just the way we equip and run our domiciles with lights and sounds constantly on, sleep is a challenge for most of us. Throw in problems like allergies, chronic snoring, nasal problems and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and sleep is jeopardized for as many as half of all Americans.
“Many people will choose to exercise more, eat healthier, and get away from bad habits as part of their New Year’s Resolutions,” said Dr. Stephen D. Ochs, founder of Sleep Apnea Surgicure. “And while these goals should certainly be commended, one of the best ways to improve health is also one of the most overlooked. Just a little extra sleep per night can make all the difference in the world to how an individual feels during the day.”
If you do resolve to sleep better, what steps should you take? Here are some starters:
- Practice good sleep hygiene. We’ve discussed sleep hygiene here many times, so just do a friendly search. Good sleep hygiene involves eating and drinking the right substances at the right time of day and also making your bedroom more sleep friendly.
- Get evaluated. If you are a chronic snorer or suspect you have OSA or a snoring problem that’s keeping your mate up at night, seek a professional evaluation and get treated for what’s discovered.
- Stop smoking and drinking. Smoking leads to mouth dryness, among other problems, and interferes with sleep. While drinking can help induce sleep, it also poses problems with sleep quality and sleep duration.
Remember, sleeping better leads to living better and more fully in the daytime.