Thursday, March 10, 2011
I know sleep is very important for health, mood, and weight management. Last year I did the SparkPeople Better Sleep Challenge and tried several new methods to sleep better. Some of them I have continued, some I have modified, and some I have let go by the wayside.
On the positive side it has been weeks and weeks since I have had trouble getting to sleep. I have slept 6 or more hours every night for months. I'm averaging over 7 hours sleep per night. I actually changed my goal from 8 hours per night to 7. After I retire in just over 3 months I may try to go for eight hours again, but for now 7 is pretty good. I'm not sure I feel optimally rested, but I feel pretty good.
I gave up going to bed at 10pm every night. It was very hard to go to bed before my husband every night. I never slept well until he was quiet. Now I go to bed when I am tired. I know. I know. That is against the traditional wisdom. A set bedtime every night is suppose to be a key. I may try it again later, but for now, going to bed when I am tired works better.
I often, even usually, exercised right up until bedtime before the challenge. I usually marched and did Sansone-style walking in front of the TV. Well, now I've compromised. I give myself at least an hour of calm down time before bed, but I don't always give myself 3 hours. I haven't found it makes any difference with getting to sleep, while it makes getting all my fitness minutes in much easier on work days.
My good bedtime ritual has continued. A warm bath and soothing music are a great way to end the day along with positive reflections and praise.
All in all, I am sleeping better than I did a year ago or two years ago. I may be able to improve more in this area. Time will tell.