How to: Exhaust yourself by trying to sleep more

Five Ways to Blow Your New Year’s Resolution

Often, we associate New Year’s resolutions with drastic health or lifestyle changes that we feel determined to stick to in January – but weeks or months later, we burn out. Why? Because we try to bite off more than we can chew.

This week, we continue sharing common mistakes that lead to resolution burnout, and provide you with realistic tips that encourage long-term success.

“Five… four… three… two… hey, wake up! It’s midnight!”

At the turn of the New Year, millions watched the ball drop. You struggled to keep your eyelids open.

It wasn’t just that it was midnight. You battle exhaustion every day, regardless of what time it is – from the moment you rise until it’s time for bed. This year, you decide enough is enough. You resolve to start sleeping better in 2013.

Night One

You hit the sack early at 9 p.m. Two hours later, you’re still wide awake, and running out of things to read on your iPad. You eventually fall asleep around midnight – your usual time – and rise again at your usual 6 a.m. waking hour.

Night Two

After work, you head to the pharmacy for some reinforcements. With “all natural” sleep aids in tow, you prepare for a great night’s sleep and swallow your melatonin shortly after dinner, around 8:45. By 9:30, you’re feeling the effects. After completing your nightly tasks in a Zombie-like state, you collapse face first into bed. The next morning, you’re groggier than usual, with a sleep-aid hangover that lasts until noon. Trying to get more sleep is really wearing you out. Better sleep will remain a dream for now. There goes your New Year’s resolution.

How to: Teach your body to sleep smarter

Tune out the noise

Reading, without the television blaring or other distractions, is a good way to naturally relax your mind and body at the end of the day. However, studies show that reading on a mobile device can slow the onset of sleep by over stimulating your brain. Alternatively, turning the pages of a hard-copy book can help you calmly wind down your day and encourage sleepiness. So reach for your hard-copy novel, and shut off your television, smartphone or iPad.

Sleep when you need it – and get the most out of your routine

Getting better sleep doesn’t have to mean going to bed at 9:00. Take another look at your schedule: Where are you being least efficient with your time? Exercising in the morning is shown to increase productivity in the mornings and lead to a better night’s sleep. It’s a natural way to get your body into a better sleeping rhythm – which means more energy, and no sleep-aid hangovers in the morning.

Follow these tips and you’ll have sweet dreams in 2013.