Richard Wiseman, an academic famed for researching unusual areas of psychology, conducted a study a few years ago to find out just how many people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions.
Wiseman tracked the progress of 3,000 people as they attempted a range of different resolutions, and the findings were pretty optimistic at first, with 52% of participants stating that they were confident of success. One year later, however, only 12% of those surveyed had actually achieved their goal.
Now we don’t want to rain on anyone’s can-do parade with Wiseman’s findings – in fact, we’d prefer to encourage our readers to aim high – so is there anything that you can do to bolster your willpower and realise your goals?
Well, we’re happy to say that Wiseman conducted another survey a couple of years later to answer just that, and the solution was surprisingly simple: a good night’s sleep.
Wiseman discovered that there is a strong correlation between the quality of your sleep and making your resolution a reality. In fact, “60% of people who slept well [said] they were able to achieve their resolutions”.
So, to make sure you’ve got the best chance of achieving your goals this year, Wiseman’s drawn up a list of scientifically proven tips and tricks to ensure you get the most out of your sleep and tackle those pesky New Year’s resolutions in earnest:
This tip sounds particularly counter-intuitive. I mean, surely tasking yourself with solving a puzzle right before bed will keep you awake, right? But small conundrums actually tire the mind and help you to drift off. Wiseman suggests picking a category, something like countries or fruits, and then coming up with an example of that category for each letter of the alphabet.
- Avoid blue light
The screens on our smartphones, computers and tablets all emit blue light, and light from the blue end of the spectrum is thought to inhibit your body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Therefore, it’s a good idea to put your tech to bed an hour or so before you do. Alternatively, if you struggle with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), you can always turn down the brightness on your phone or download one of the many apps that combats blue light.
- Trick your body into sleep
This may come as a surprise, but pretending that you feel lethargic can actually trick your body into feeling sleepy. So, to get your body ready for sleep, fake a few yawns before climbing the wooden hills to Bedfordshire and when you get to bed, simply lie back, sink into your mattress and make-believe that you’ve spent the day running a marathon.
These tips, odd as they may sound, are proven to help with getting to sleep, which should allow you to stay focused, be self-controlled and achieve your goals. We hope that you feel more confident about smashing your New Year’s resolutions after reading this blog and that we’ll hear from you before the end of 2018 with some good news.