Monday, December 31, 2012

Health-Based New Year's Resolutions Work Better with Sleep

As the New Year approaches, Americans are ready to make their resolutions for a healthier, happier, more prosperous 2013. Statistically speaking, nearly half of the country will make a New Year's Resolution. Losing weight tops the list of most common resolutions, but a more general "stay fit and healthy" is the fifth most popular goal people set for January 1.

With health and weight-related goals, much of the focus falls on food and exercise. Maintaining a balanced diet and exercising regularly are essential to reducing body fat, improving organ function, and boosting overall health. However, getting enough quality sleep can help improve health and weight loss efforts.

Research has shown that people who get the proper amount of sleep each night (typically eight hours for an adult) have an easier time sticking to an exercise regimen and making healthier food choices. Better sleep has also been linked to better mental health and, for children, better behavior in school.

"Barriers to sleep include lifestyle choices, caffeine consumption, and even the bed itself," says Mark Wells of Sleep City and 

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