Health + Wellness

Getting more sleep is the most important resolution for 2020

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The tradition of creating resolutions dates back to nearly 4,000 years ago, from the ancient Babylonian days, and was fortified when Julius Caesar established the Roman calendar, marking January as the first month of the new year.

Whether in the age of the Babylonians or Romans, New Year resolutions were made as a pledge to do better in the coming year.

This tradition has stood the test of time and continues to be play a part in many cultures and countries today. Different people make different resolutions, but there are patterns to what these resolutions tend to be.

Many studies have found that some of the most common New Year resolutions include:

  • Become a better person
  • Lose weight
  • Exercise more
  • Spend less money
  • Improve health
  • Eat healthier
  • Get a better job
  • Quit smoking
  • Travel to new places
  • Drink less alcohol

While making these resolutions are popular across the world, the rate of people sticking to them is another story. New Year’s resolutions are often jested to be futile, as many people – nearly 80% of people who make resolutions – do not end up sticking to them. The reasons for not being able to fulfil resolutions vary, but there could be one underlying reason related to majority of your resolutions: sleep.

Why is sleep important?

Singaporeans aren’t getting enough sleep. In a study conducted by AIA, we found that 56% of Singaporeans we surveyed get six hours or less sleep every night. Some common reasons for their sleep deprivation include poor lifestyle choices, such as playing video games, staying out late as well as being affected by shift work. Besides this, there are also those suffering from medical conditions, such as chronic pains and aches and sleep-related disorders.

Those who don’t sleep enough on a regular basis may end up suffering from a variety of symptoms, which includes developing eye bags and bloodshot eyes, frequent headaches, memory lapses, depression, increase blood pressure, poorer immune system, increased risk of diabetes, increased risk of road accidents and work-related accidents, poorer productivity and even increased risk of premature death.

While everyone knows that insufficient sleep can adversely affect their lives, the reason it needs to be at the top of your resolution list is because it will help you to achieve your other resolutions.

Ample rest helps with sticking to other resolutions

When you make getting adequate sleep your resolution, it creates a domino effect that can spur you in your quest to achieve other resolutions you may have and even those you may not have considered because you thought they were too far-fetched.

For anyone wanting to lose weight in the coming new year, having enough sleep can help regulate your leptin hormone so you don’t feel hungry so fast. Furthermore, when you are sleepy, you also tend to crave sugary foods and may consume excess calories to keep yourself going.

If your New Year’s resolution is to lead a healthier lifestyle, then sleep should not be too far away from your agenda. To have the required amount of sleep each night – you will tend to spend less time outside of your home in the wee hours. During such outings, many tend to eat junk food, and engage in certain social vices in a group setting, including smoking and/or drinking.

At the same time, not spending these late nights out with friends can mean you are empowered to choose sleep. This comes with periphery benefits such as helping you save money on the night out, as well as in the long-term with better health.

Sleeping the recommended amount also keeps you alert and energetic at work, and less prone to falling sick, becoming distracted or having to cope with migraines. This all leads to better performance at work, which will likely help with any resolution to get a pay raise or better job. Additionally, you will also have a clearer mind to make better decisions, whether at work or at home.

With long working hours and stressful careers, spending more quality time with your family is also another common resolution. Adequate sleep helps you perform better and more efficiently at work – potentially leaving you more time with your loved ones. Good quality sleep also improves your mood, which is important to having quality family time.

Majority of these life goals form the most common New Year’s resolutions list. With AIA Vitality, we encourage you to keep to your resolutions by rewarding you for making improvements in your lifestyle, regardless of how small they may be.

You can earn AIA Vitality Points when you take a sleep assessment to find out how well you are sleeping and when you participate in our sleep challenge, when you link a supported device to the AIA Vitality App. You can also receive discounts off fitness devices from Garmin, Fitbit and Polar.

How you can get better sleep

It is recommended that adults get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. In order to feel well-rested, try building good sleep habits to help you sleep longer and better.

It’s a matter of doing the right things to get at least #OneMoreHour of sleep every night. Go to bed at the same time every night, make your bed comfortable and your room dark, and stay away from technology in bed in order to meet your resolution – or even life goal – of maintaining optimal health all year round.


Article contributed by AIA Singapore.

Image credit: Jess Foami from Pixabay

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