Do you pay much attention to how you sleep? Or do you hop into bed, turn off the light, and hope for the best? Some nights you may toss and turn. Other nights you may pass out in seconds. You might wake up a few times, or not at all. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll wake up before the alarm clock goes off, feeling spectacular.
The benefits of sleep are significant and include a strong immune system, energy, creativity, and concentration, among many others. This month, you’ll be learning how to engineer an ideal night of sleep.
For the next 30 days, commit to a consistent bedtime routine, where you start winding down 30 to 60 minutes before bed at the same time each night. Turn your devices off and get your body and brain into a more restful state.
*Avoid blue light. Too much exposure to light before bedtime is one of the biggest culprits of sleep struggles. Before bed, avoid or limit the usage of tablets, smartphones, TVs, computers, clock radios, and other blue light–emitting devices. Even better, get them out of your bedroom.
*Keep your room cool. The ideal temperature for falling and staying asleep is somewhere between 65 and 70°F. The cooler, the better. Studies show that cooler body temperatures lead to more deep sleep, whereas hot environments and higher body temperatures lead to more wakeful states.
*Adjust your sound. Research suggests that we can achieve more periods of deep sleep if we listen to certain binaural beats, a.k.a. brainwave entertainment. A simple white noise app will suffice or, for the more adventurous, a special binaural deep sleep–inducing track.
*Clear your mind. This is a great time for a little introspection so that your day ends on a positive note.
- Say a prayer.
- Write down the things you accomplished during the day.
- Write down the things you’re grateful for.
*Don’t drink caffeine after 2 p.m. Caffeine is a stimulant that has sleep-disrupting effects.
*Don’t drink alcohol. If you do, have your cocktails earlier in the evening and not right before bed. While alcohol might help you fall asleep, it lessens the amount of time you spend in REM sleep.
*If you can’t sleep, get up. If you are not able to fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed. Read or journal under a dim light. Dense fiction will surely put you to sleep quickly.
*Keep a record of your progress, whether you write down your sleep schedule in a journal or use a sleep-tracking app.
- WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW OFTEN – list the details of the challenge on the Accountability Tracker.
2. DOCUMENT IT ON THE CHALLENGE CALENDAR:
3. THE REWARD – don’t forget to document your reward on the accountability tracker! How will you reward yourself? Do you respond better to milestone rewards or are you holding out for the big daddy upon completion? What will it be? What motivates you?
4. KEEP TRUDGING FORWARD – don’t give up. If you fall off the wagon, keep moving forward! Ask for help. That’s what family and friends are for!
5. REFLECTION – reflect on the challenge – what went well, and what could be better. Learn from this and use this to improve on yourself and your future challenges!
What’s your Challenge? Get started today!