Official Better Sleep Challenge
Monday, December 02, 2013
WEEK 1: 12/2/13 - Monday
Today I joined this challenge. I'm tired of my crazy sleep schedule and either not getting enough (most common) or getting too much (trying to catch up on the weekend).
Week 1 we're tasked with starting a sleep journal and setting goals. My goal for one week is to get to SLEEP at 11 and wake up at 7. Even on the weekend. The trick is to figure out how far ahead of 11 I need to lay my head on the pillow.
I don't get home on many nights until 7:30-8 so am not eating dinner until at least 8. That doesn't leave much time after cooking, eating and cleaning up before bedtime. Another challenge is scaling back the amount of movies/internet time. Those are my hurdles (excuses) to getting bed on time. Next I figure out the main problem - and that is why it takes so long to drop off. Sometimes up to 2-3 hours or even more when I really am tired.
The benefits I'm anticipating are quicker reaction times, less irritability and more focus. That and showing myself that I can create some consistency in my personal life. In the introductory reading it was stressed that lack of sleep can lead to weight issues and high blood pressure.
----------------------Update - Feb. 6th, 2014
POST SLEEP CHALLENGE
I didn't check in after that first week (oops) but wanted to stop back to report on my results from the 4 week sleep challenge.
What I learned is that if I consistently have 8 hours of sleep per night I'm able to sleep much better overall. I started out the challenge aiming to get to bed and waking up at the same time 7 days per week. It was too much pressure going so strictly by the clock, that made it hard to fall asleep as I was so conscious of the time. Instead what I found is that when I lay down I set my alarm for 8 hours and 15 mins from that time. I'm VERY fortunate that I can flex my work schedule a bit in the mornings so that if I don't get to bed early, I can still get in the 8 hours. I still try to go to bed at relatively the same time each night but frankly on the weekends this can vary 1-2 hours either way. It's just the way my clock seems to work. And you see that I'm allowing 15 minutes to get to sleep which is way different than the 2 hours it used to take. No more 4-5 hour weekday sleeps and 12 hours on weekend nights.
Another benefit is feeling much more energized, and much more apt to exercise.
Hmmm....sleep to exercise....exercise to sleep. Makes sense to me!
I would recommend this challenge to others who are sleep deprived. Like everything else on SP, it's all about keeping a log and learning from what you see written down. Well worth the effort.