How to Create a New Year's Sleep Resolution

Tara Youngblood Dec 27, 2022

Sleep resolution

As the end of the year draws closer, we’re willing to bet that you’ll be pulling out your pen and paper to start writing down your latest batch of New Year’s resolutions. Properly preparing a New Year’s resolution can lead to making lasting changes putting you on the path to a more productive and healthier you.

When making those resolutions, it’s human nature to focus on what we consider failures over the last year; however, it’s always a good practice to evaluate what you were successful at in the previous year so you can build on those successes, too.

For many, resolutions are centered on diet, exercise, relationships, careers, and more. Of course, based on our sleep-first philosophy, it probably won’t surprise you that we suggest adding a new addition to this list: sleep goals.

With so much focus on how sleep can aid in recovery and your overall health, striving to sleep better this year—or any year, for that matter—should be a priority.

Why Create a New Year’s Sleep Resolution?

Making a sleep resolution is a great way to focus on well-being and healthier habits in the new year. Sleep is vital for bodily systems to function optimally. It enhances cognition and memory, strengthens physical health, and improves emotional well-being.

Sleep is essential to success. It creates energy to work out, increases work efficiency, encourages new ideas, and encourages weight loss.

Research indicates that good rest boosts self-regulation, allowing one to remain committed to objectives. [1] Even forming steady sleep patterns can bolster self-control and aid in pursuing ambitions, especially when facing a challenge. [2] Additionally, getting quality sleep has been shown to help with additional New Year’s goals.

Sleep Goals & Resolutions to Explore

Below, we’ll focus on five sleep goals for you to consider for your new year's planning and to continue in the upcoming year.

Identify Your Chronotype

We’ve discussed figuring out your chronotype before, but it bears repeating. While you can find various different chronotype breakdowns online, for simplicity’s sake, you can look at two: night owls and early birds. Your sleep chronotype is based on your PER3 gene, which dictates your circadian rhythm—that internal clock that includes the important aspects of daily life, which includes sleeping, eating, and sexual activity.

Even if this is your first time hearing the term chronotype, after reading it just now, you probably know whether you’re a night owl, an early bird, or maybe even a hybrid of both. Some studies have taken the idea of the chronotype even further, assigning different animals as specific chronotypes.

No matter how far you want to dig into your chronotype, understanding your sleep cycle allows you to work toward many additional goals below.

Read More: What is Circadian Rythm

8 Hours of sleep

Establish A Sleep Routine

Perhaps you already have a set sleep schedule; you hop in bed at 10 pm, sleep till 6 am, and you’re good to go. However, if you don’t have a sleep routine, creating one based on your chronotype will go a long way towards getting a good night’s sleep consistently. Specifically, how to get more deep sleep—which we’re passionate about.

Going to bed and waking within the same windows daily is one of the great secrets to getting quality sleep night in and night out. Sometimes your schedule doesn’t allow it, especially for shift workers, so do your best. But if you’re struggling to sleep and have been reluctant to create steady sleep habits, this goal should be your highest priority.

Create Habits Around Waking Up

Technically, this is an extension of goal #2, but this goes beyond timing and sleep windows. (But yes, waking up when your alarm goes off should be a habit.) What do you do first in the morning? It’s worth considering, especially if the first thing you do is grab your smartphone or turn on the TV.

Read More: Does Blue Light Keep You Awake?

Did You Know? 6 in 10 people hit the snooze button in the morning? Are you looking to end snoozing? Learn how to stop snoozing and wake up refreshed!

For example, getting sunlight in the morning has its benefits, especially considering most of us spend most of our lives indoors. But getting sunlight ensures you’re getting enough Vitamin D, which allows you to maintain appropriate serotonin levels and keep your circadian rhythm running like clockwork.

Getting outdoors in the morning is just one option here; the goal for the first 30 minutes you’re awake should be to create some “me time” that allows you to get a great start to your day (and you can create that 30-minute “me time” window before bed, too).

Try Something Completely New

We’ve discussed establishing new routines and creating 30-minute windows before bed and once you wake up. What can you add or subtract to or from your current routine to mix things up? There are a variety of options that have the potential to help you sleep better.

We’ve praised meditation concerning sleep, and its benefits around reducing stress and anxiety alone make it worthwhile. Yoga Nidra provides similar benefits as well. But if you’re not willing to leap into these specific practices, start small and build towards them.

Maybe you turn the TV off that 30 minutes before bed or leave your smartphone downstairs. Ultimately the goal is to try to integrate new habits that have the potential to improve your sleep.

Complete a “Sleep Inventory”

While you can start on the adobe sleep goals in January, wait a little longer on this one. But in a couple of months, after you’ve established a routine, created healthy habits, and tried new things, it’s time to take inventory and see what you would change and keep.

Final Thought

No matter how many tips for better sleep you read or hear, experimentation is the only way to fine-tune your own personal sleep schedule. That’s important because each person is unique, but also because your sleep needs will change with age. So by continuously taking stock of what’s working and what’s not, you’ll constantly find ways to enhance your sleep and improve your overall health.

Citations

[1] Liu, J., Zhu, L., & Liu, C. (2020). Sleep Quality and Self-Control: The Mediating Roles of Positive and Negative Affects. Frontiers in psychology, 11, 607548. View Study

[2] Pilcher, J. J., Morris, D. M., Donnelly, J., & Feigl, H. B. (2015). Interactions between sleep habits and self-control. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 9, 284. View Study

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