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Sleep: The Great Motivator

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Feb 3rd 2017

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FRIDAY, Feb. 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- If you really want to follow through on your New Year's resolutions, make sure you get enough sleep.

That's the advice of Michigan sleep specialist Dr. Cathy Goldstein.

Adequate sleep is a key component when trying to achieve goals -- whether it's healthier eating, more exercise, quitting smoking, improving relationships or getting ahead at work, she said.

"We definitely take sleep as a luxury; it's not," said Goldstein, an assistant professor of neurology in the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Centers.

People who don't get enough sleep are more likely to make poor food choices and to eat more, Goldstein said in a university news release.

They're also less likely to feel motivated to exercise or stick to their no-smoking plan; more likely to be in a bad mood; and they're probably less productive at work, she said.

Goldstein advised getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, going to bed at the same time each evening, keeping your bedroom as dark as possible, and covering up any direct glow from electronics or clocks.

"You're most sensitive to bright light in the middle of the night. Even low levels can have a negative effect," Goldstein said.

It's also important not to use your smartphone or tablet while in bed, and to set the phone to "do not disturb" mode to prevent sleep interruptions from late-night calls or texts, she added.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on sleep.