Call it a New Year's Resolution, or better yet, a goal for 2023. I  have mentioned S.M.A.R.T goals in many of my radio features.  It is a useful acronym that stands for SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, RELEVANT, AND TIME BOUND.

So, let me follow my own advice and break down this goal into smaller, bite-sized, micro-goals.   First, I will set an alarm on my watch to remind me to unwind one hour before I usually do.  I will get in bed an hour earlier.  I will avoid digital media or electronics at least an hour before bedtime and pick up a book instead.  I will get up an hour earlier to "reset" my circadian rhythm. I will also shift most of my workouts to the morning.  Sometimes when I work out late, it is more difficult to fall asleep. These are specific, measurable goals. I will aim to increase my sleep to a minimum of 7 hours and once I have achieved that goal, I will aim for a full 8 hours. It is relevant because I want to enhance my brain health, feel more energized, and maintain a healthy weight, all made much easier with a good night's sleep.  I will give myself three months to achieve this, which makes it time-bound.  This gives me a realistic, attainable, goal with a deadline.  I know I will probably slip up along the way, but success in anything is usually not a straight line to the top.

Okay, I said it. I am putting it out there.  I will check back in three months and update you on my progress.  Meantime, if you struggle with getting proper sleep, hopefully this inspires you to make some changes as well. You might also be motivated by learning some of the many positives of good sleep hygiene...

I  While a good night’s sleep won’t magically heal your injuries it will have some great effects on your mental and physical health. Are you curious about sleep? This article highlights a few important things to know about sleep and a few tips to help you along your way towards better sleep.

Why sleep is important

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, getting enough sleep can have some great health benefits. A few of the ones that stand out to me are getting sick less often, reducing stress and improving mood, and being able to think more clearly.

It is also important to know that everyone does not need the same amount of sleep, everyone is different and will need a different level of sleep. Here is a general overview of sleep needs in relation to age.

Sleep Cycle

You may be surprised to find out that we all have a “biological clock” that lets us know when we should sleep. This clock is set naturally to the daylight pattern where you live. This is jet lag!

So if you want to find your body’s natural time to sleep, try actively paying attention to how you feel later in the day to get a time estimate.

Best Sleeping Positions

To put it frankly, all sleep positions have some benefits and drawbacks. So it’s recommended to change things up every now and then.

Every sleep position’s goal is to have the body in a neutral position so there is no undue stress on any part of the body. This is done with the help of pillows!

Pillows are great for helping the body achieve that neutral position as they can go either between or under your legs to support your spine. Or under your back if you really need that extra oomph. 
Here is a guide for the best sleep positions. 

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