I don’t know many people that wouldn’t ever class themselves as busy; there are always so many different things to do and be getting on with. And because of that, there can be some things in our lives that we let slip a little. I know when I have a lot on and a lot to be thinking about, things like my health can take a back seat. That can include skipping exercise, buying quick to make or pre-prepared foods, as well as my sleep; when I’ve got deadlines I can work late into the night to get it all done.
Sleep can be such an important factor for our health and wellbeing, as well as just who we get through the day. If we feel exhausted all of the time, then our physical health, as well as mental health, can be impacted. Of course, no two people are the same, but when we consistently get less than six hours of sleep per night, it can have an knock-on impact to our health. Which is why I was looking forward to taking part in a sleep challenge set by online bed retailer Bed Guru. Their ethos of ‘reclaim your right to sleep’ really resonated with me, as it can be something that we dismiss as important, but really, it does play a huge role in our lives. We all need to be getting a good night’s sleep.
I know for myself, I can work late into the night, not give myself time to wind down and relax before bed, as well as using my phone right until bedtime, so any tips and tricks to help, and seeing if they do really help is fine by me. So those were the things that I have been really keen to improve or cut down on, to see if it has made a difference.
To start off with, I thought that for the first week I would implement switching my phone off for at least an hour before I go to bed.
I pretty much know from how my day has gone what time I will be going to bed each night, so I could easily plan around it. And do you know what? I really felt the benefit of it. I didn’t miss it, and would often waste so much time on it anyway, that it did help me to get straight off to sleep. I think this is something I will keep up with, as I don’t need my phone with my all of the time!
For the second week, it was a bit tougher than the first, as I had quite a lot of things going on in my life that work, personal and work like, that I found I was working quite late into the night each night and not allowing myself time to switch off and unwind before heading up to bed.
So for people like me, organising time better so that I have time to unwind and relax a little before going up to bed is really important; I did notice the difference.
For the third week, I was still keeping up with switching my phone off at least an hour before bed, but also was being more deliberate or intentional when it came to switching off the laptop before going to bed as well.
When I made an effort to turn off my tech and give myself time to unwind, it did make a difference. I’m not saying I sleep through each night, but I woke up feeling much more refreshed than the week before.
The final week was much the same, and I noted in my sleep diary that I was waking up feeling exhausted after the first few days of the challenge, but now in the final week, was waking up much more energised, and dare I say it, refreshed. When I took the time to cut things out (like caffeinated drinks, for example), as well as reduce screen time before bed, it did make a difference in a really good way.
I can see that they are heathy habits and choices to make, and I want to make sure that I can carry on doing them all.
I made a video at the end of each week of the sleep challenge to show how I’ve been getting on – you can view them all here:
Do you find it hard to get to sleep, or find that the quality of the sleep that you have is quite poor? I would really recommend downloading Bed Guru’s guide, and having a go at the sleep challenge yourself. When you’re writing things down it really makes you think about how you’ve slept and how you are feeling; something that can get forgotten about so easily in the busy lives that we lead.
It would be great to hear what helps you to sleep well? Are you up for a thirty day challenge?
*Post in collaboration with Bed Guru.