7 Things I Learned From Taking a Sleep Challenge

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Sleep loss. Trouble sleeping. Sleep deprivation. Insomnia.

As a ma of one-year-old twins and a five-year-old, I cognize what it’s similar to beryllium tired. So, so, tired.

Add to that the accent of a pandemic and that authorities of each the things successful the world, and, welp, determination are a batch of things to support america up astatine night.


So, erstwhile DayAfterInsomnia wanted to cognize if I’d beryllium consenting to instrumentality a slumber situation — and 1 that focused not conscionable connected quantity and prime of slumber but besides how you consciousness erstwhile you aftermath up — I was each in. I mean, who doesn’t privation to aftermath well?

For a week I tracked some however I felt earlier I went to slumber and however I felt erstwhile I woke up. Just 8 elemental questions doubly a time to assistance maine drill down arsenic to wherefore immoderate days I slept amended than others and however that influenced my vigor levels and however efficaciously I functioned the adjacent day.

I cognize that slumber is truthful important and I felt similar I was beauteous good educated connected what to bash (and what nary to do) successful bid to get bully sleep, but I gotta say, I learned A LOT from doing this slumber challenge.

And, portion I can’t power whether oregon not my 3 kiddos aftermath up successful the mediate of the night, I did find a fig of ways to slumber amended … and — much importantly — aftermath well. Read connected for the biggest ah-has I had!

1. Workouts — and the benignant of workouts — matter.

One of the things I tracked successful this slumber situation was if I exercised for 20 minutes oregon much each day. And, successful summation to that, I thought I’d besides enactment what benignant of workout I did — was it HIIT, a longer jog, an casual walk, yoga, oregon thing else? Turns out, days wherever I did immoderate bout of exercise, I seemed to autumn dormant faster and aftermath up much refreshed the adjacent day, but the much aggravated the exercise, the much pronounced those effects seemed connected my sleep¹. Outdoor workouts seemed to payment maine more, too, than indoor ones, which I thought was fascinating.

2. Eating excessively precocious oregon excessively aboriginal tin messiness up sleep.

My questionnaire besides had maine enactment erstwhile I past ate astatine night, and the results truly amazed me. If I ate meal aboriginal (easy to bash with 3 kids successful the location who request meal astatine 4:30 p.m.) and didn’t person a bedtime snack past I’d autumn dormant beauteous quickly, but would virtually aftermath up hungry! On the different hand, if I ate a ample repast excessively adjacent to bedtime, I had occupation falling asleep. It lone took maine a fewer days of playing astir with the timing of my meals and snacks to marque having a ample snack astir 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and past eating meal betwixt 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. a precedence for my 10 p.m. bedtime.

3. De-stressing earlier furniture is essential.

Before taking the slumber challenge, I’d usually ticker immoderate TV with my hubby and past deed the hay erstwhile we could hardly support our eyes open. But, turns out, that’s not arsenic relaxing arsenic you mightiness deliberation — particularly if you autumn dormant connected the sofa successful a weird presumption and past person to locomotion upstairs to spell to bed. We some recovered that erstwhile we meditated oregon relaxed successful our furniture — adjacent if it was conscionable for a fewer minutes aft watching TV — we fell dormant faster and slept better. Such an casual tweak to marque for amended sleep.

4. Avoid the snooze button.

Oh, the snooze button. It’s truthful tempting to deed erstwhile you’re bushed successful the morning, but, for me, it didn’t substance however overmuch other slumber I got from hitting it, I ever seemed to consciousness worse and little energetic. And, the much times I deed it, the worse I seemed to feel. As soon arsenic I made this connection, it was truthful overmuch easier to not deed it.

5. I emotion my wine, but …

It’s nary concealed that I’m a vino lover, but taking this slumber situation gave maine different crushed wherefore moderation is everything. I recovered that having 1 solid of vino earlier furniture didn’t alteration much, but much than 1 and I was much apt to aftermath up successful the mediate of the nighttime and aftermath up feeling not astir arsenic refreshed.

6. Productivity is simply a cycle.

The slumber situation besides had maine way however productive I felt each day, which I thought was an absorbing question and not 1 I expected. What I learned from it is that productivity not lone affects however good I slumber (namely, if I wasn’t overly productive, I apt didn’t consciousness arsenic sleepy astatine night), but besides slumber affected however productive I could beryllium the adjacent day. If I was sleepy and not refreshed each day, nary mode I was arsenic productive … and past the rhythm started each implicit again. Interesting, huh?

7. Focusing connected waking good changes everything.

This was my biggest ah-ha of all. When I enactment the accent connected and paid attraction to however good I woke — and past linked that to my behaviors and decisions — it was truthful casual to marque tiny changes that paid dividends successful energy. Focusing connected “waking well” motivated maine to get to furniture earlier, perceive to my body, and amended self-care.

I didn’t person to marque immense changes either — 1 little portion here, 5 minutes of meditation there, avoiding the snooze fastener arsenic overmuch arsenic possible. All precise elemental things that precise profoundly changed however I felt each day.

And, again, with the 3 kids and all, I tin usage each the vigor I tin get.

Do you aftermath good connected the reg? I promote you to usage the questions shown supra and instrumentality the seven-day slumber challenge, too! Also, sojourn DayAfterInsomnia.com for much accusation and resources connected steadfast sleep. After all, this is conscionable my experience. No telling what you tin larn astir yourself! –Jenn


1. John Hopkins Medicine. Exercising for Better Sleep. Accessed August 2020. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/exercising-for-better-sleep