Tuesday, January 26, 2016

February Sleep Challenge

Well, folks, the mini challenge for February focuses on getting a month of good sleep.  I'm so happy about how January's challenge went (hydration), so if you missed that one, be sure to check out the video and blog post linked below.

Benefits of Sleep

Now, there are all kinds of benefits to getting good sleep.  Here are some that are pretty obvious.
1. You'll be fully rested and energized.
2. You'll be more productive. 
3. You'll have  a better mood and you'll be happier.

There are also some surprising benefits to getting good sleep.
1. You'll have healthier skin.
2. You'll have an easier time losing and maintaining weight.
3. You'll be less likely to get sick.
4. You can avoid certain kinds of cancer!
5. You'll have fewer headaches.
6. You'll have less anxiety.
7. You will be less likely to develop diabetes.

Crazy, right?  All these benefits from getting a good night's sleep.

Your Sleep Environment

There are several things you can do to improve your sleep.  Let's first focus on your sleeping environment.
1. Clean up the clutter.  A messy bedroom signals to your brain that there is work left undone and prevents you from sleeping as soundly.

2. Get your room as dark as possible.  Any kind of light, including an outside street light or even a night light can signal your brain to stay wake.  Be sure to cover windows with curtains or blinds.  If this isn't possible, wear a sleeping mask.

3. Set the temperature of your room in the range of 60–68 degrees.

4. Use a lavender scented spray or diffuser to encourage relaxation. 

Daily Routines

Now, let's look at the hours leading up to sleep.  Here are some things to do and not to do.
1. Expose yourself to sunlight during the day.
2. Don't consume caffeine after 2:00pm.
3. Don't drink alcohol after 7:00pm.
4. Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before going to bed.  This includes the TV and your phone.
5. Eat a light, healthy snack about 45 minutes before bed if you tend to wake up hungry in the night.
6. Establish an evening routine that signals to your body that bedtime is coming soon.  For example, make a cup of hot herbal tea or take a warm bath.    

Establishing a Sleep Schedule

A consistent sleep schedule will help you feel more rested over time.  Here are some tips.
1. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day... even on the weekends.

2. Try to be asleep during the hours of 10:00pm and 2:00am. This does not mean only sleeping four hours, but rather that these hours should be part of your sleep cycle in order to bring about the most restorative sleep so you awaken more rested.

See the links below for more information and tips.

So, for the month of February, I'm going to wear a sleeping mask, drink a cup of tea each night, and turn off the TV and computer at least an hour before bed.  I'm also going to avoid alcohol (or at the very least not drink it after 7:00pm), and try my best to go to bed by 10:00 and wake up at 6:00.

What are your sleep goals?

Track Your Progress

Be sure to download the printable below to record your room and routine changes and track your sleep schedule.  Here's to a month of great sleep!  

For more detailed information about the challenge, check out the video below.

For more sleep resources, check out these websites:
Healthy Sleep Tips
20 Ways to Sleep Better Every Night
How to Sleep Better
23 Benefits of Getting More Sleep
For previous challenges, check out the following posts and videos.

January—Hydration Challenge

I link up at the following:
My Flagstaff Home, Inspire Me Monday, Huckleberry Love, Mix it Up Monday, Creative Monday, Inspiration Monday, AmazeMe Monday, Something to Talk About, Art of Homemaking, What’d You Do ThisWeekend?You’re Gonna Love It Tuesday, Tuesdays with aTwist, Linda's Lunacy, Tuesdays at Our Home, Hope Studios, Tickle My Tastebuds, Wakeup Wednesday, Simple Link Party, Moonlightand Mason Jars, Creativity Unleashed, Creative Inspirations, Our Simple Homestead, Creative Princess, Homeand Garden Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Grace at Home, Idea Box, Creative Exchange, From the Farm, Farmgirl Friday, Simple & Sweet Friday, FriendshipFriday, Weekend Blog Hop, Friday’s Five Features, What to DoWeekend, Friday Features, Link Your Stuff, Paula’s No Rules Weekend, Weekend(No Rules) Blog Hop, Bouquet of Talent, Saturday Sparks, PinkSaturday, Silver Pennies, DIY Showoff, SundayFeatures, Chain Linky Climb, Themed Blog & Shop Hop,  Wordless Wednesday, #WhimsyWednesdays, Dream, Create, Inspire, Link, A Spirit of Simplicity, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Homemade Link Party, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Monday Makeup Madness, #Whimsy Wednesday, Must Love Home, The Scoop, Brag About It, 


  1. I did rather well for January, OK I will stop watching TV/ phone at 8:30. February challenge here we go.

    1. Great job, Ginger! Will be fun to see how we feel after continuing to be fully hydrated and now getting better sleep. :)