Want to Be Healthier in 2015? Get More Sleep!

If you are like most guys, you probably made at least a few New Year’s resolutions in late December. From vowing to get in shape and working out more often to losing weight and finally tackling the garage and getting it cleaned out so that you can actually park your cars in it, there is no shortage of goals that you can try to achieve.

While most of these resolutions will typically fall by the wayside by mid-January or so, there is one catch-all resolution that—when done consistently—should help you achieve all of the examples above and then some. This goal is so important, it may very well qualify as the only resolution you need to work on for the rest of your life. In a nutshell—resolve to get more sleep.get more sleep

Benefits of Sleep

First, let’s look at the way that sleep improves the body. According to the National Institute of Health, while you are sleeping, your brain is gearing up for the next 24 hours. A good night’s rest will improve your ability to remember things, learn new tasks and make decisions. It will also help with problem solving skills and help you to stay on task longer. So, if that garage is chock-full of boxes and other items, making sure that you are getting a good night’s rest not just one night but consistently will give you the energy you need and the attention span that is required to finally get the space cleaned out.

Speaking of energy, when you feel rested and refreshed you are more likely to have the oomph that is needed to head to the gym to workout, instead of hanging out on the couch and watching TV. Sleep also promotes the proper production of two key hormones called ghrelin and leptin, both of which have an influence on your appetite. If you ever wondered why a sleepless night will have you reaching for the extra slice of pizza or sandwich the next day, it’s because your ghrelin is higher than it should be and your leptin is too low. This ties into your other New Year’s resolution about losing weight. If you make a concerted effort to get better sleep at night, it can be easier to maintain a healthy diet and not be tempted to overeat.

The Very Negative Impact of Sleep Deprivation

Here’s a sobering statistic: according to EMedicine Healthy rats who get enough sleep live an average of two to three years. However, rats who are sleep deprived tend to live for only three weeks. In addition, their immune systems are seriously damaged and they are more likely to get sores on their paws and tails. Not getting enough sleep can also lead to some pretty serious health issues in humans.

For example, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to the development of insulin resistance, which is the main issue in Type 2 diabetes. When you do not get enough sleep, your body does not utilize insulin effectively, which in turn causes your system to start having symptoms that are found in insulin resistant diabetics. Since impaired glucose tolerance is a precursor for full-blown diabetics, getting enough sleep can help ward off this serious health condition. In addition, being sleep deprived has been linked to obesity, cardiovascular issues and an increased risk of getting colds and the flu.

How to Get More Zzz’s

In order to get more sleep in 2015 and beyond, you have to first look at what’s keeping you up in the first place. If you are deliberately skimping on sleep in order to watch TV, catch up on work or get other projects completed, you might want to look at your daily schedule to find what is eating up your time that you can then eliminate.

For example, add up the time you spend on social media sites. If you are checking out Facebook and Twitter for an hour a day, devote that time to your work and log at least an extra 60 minutes a night in bed. If you are having trouble falling or staying asleep, you should do an assessment of your room. In many cases, the room may be too light. If this is the case, consider purchasing light blocking window coverings that will help keep the nighttime moonlight and early morning sunlight from interfering with your slumber. A room that is too hot or noisy can also cause you to toss and turn. If this is the case, invest in a fan that will cool the air while creating a white noise that will induce sleep.

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, mrdad.com. You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.


  1. NateFebruary 9, 2015

    Sleep is vital to everyone’s health and although I do not always get the necessary 8 hours, I understand it’s importance to one’s overall well-being. When it comes to overall mental health what do you think takes priority, how successful an individual is in their professional life or the amount of rest they are able to get?

  2. RiyadhFebruary 14, 2015

    Review by for The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the Toddler Years (New Father) Rating: Since the birth of my nineteen-month-old daghuter, I’ve been reading a lot of books about babies and parenting. By accident, I found this one. Simply put, this is a terrific book. It’s a welcome antidote to all those that assume only the mom will be the hands-on parent. It’s also full of sound advice and delivers its message in the perfect parenting tone patient, amused, astonished with a keen understanding of the bewilderment and frustration we all go through. My hat is off to the author for his fine work.I actually gave the book to my husband for father’s day, but have been snatching it from him to read myself. We have several friends who are about to have new babies I’m planning to give them copies of the author’s book covering the first year as shower gifts.For nineteen months I’ve been reading about parenthood and pointing out this and that passage in some parenting book to my husband. In every case, the book spoke about the mother’s role, but the father was at best a shadowy figure who might help out once in a while. Given that my husband and I have had the pleasure of fully co-parenting, we were delighted to find a book focused on being a hands-on dad.Again, bravo to the author for a fine success.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to top