- Training plan
About this challenge
You’re not yourself when you haven’t slept - you’re irritable, lethargic, stressed, everything you don’t want to be.
Before you reach breaking point, try out our 7 day sleep better challenge. By taking a step back and adjusting your bedtime routine, you can achieve the sound night’s sleep you’ve always dreamt of.
Stop counting sheep and sleep better in 7 days.
beginner Training Plan
Entry requirements: beginner
Day 1 Get the right environment
First step, create the perfect environment to sleep in. If you’re a light sleeper who’s sensitive to your surroundings, clutter can impact your quality of sleep more than you may realise.
Focus on making your bedroom a place to sleep, not live. Is your mattress supportive? Are your pillows comfortable? If you find yourself waking up achy and lethargic, maybe it’s time to invest in a new bed.
Getting the temperature right is also key to ensuring a successful night’s sleep. Experts say that a cool, dark bedroom at around 15-19 °C is what you should be aiming for - it’s not too hot or too cold, but just right. Give it your best shot Goldilocks.
Maybe you’re still checking work emails in the early hours of the morning, or exercising late at night. Either way, if you’re craving the enviable 8-hours sleep, you need to commit to relaxing way before bedtime.
Take a closer look at your night time routine - are you doing things that are obviously keeping your mind active and awake when you should be winding down? Remove any distractions and let mindfulness and meditation ease you into a blissful night’s sleep. Whatever you’re worrying about now can be dealt with in the morning.
Ditch the digital
Beware of the blue light. Scrolling through Facebook until it’s time to sleep is bad habit you need to stamp out.
When your eyes are exposed to light (and in particular, blue light, which stimulates the brain to a greater degree), your brain produces less melatonin; the sleep-inducing hormone that helps control and regulate your sleep/wake pattern.
And despite smartphone manufacturers doing the best they can to reduce blue light emissions, endless night time scrolling can still interfere with your quality of sleep.
Eating right before bedtime can wreak havoc on your stomach, leaving you tossing and turning and importantly, not sleeping.
That’s not to say midnight snacks are completely off the cards. Foods rich in tryptophan such as turkey, peanut butter and seeds make a good late night nibble as they help to boost the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.
Avoid alcohol at all costs. Research from the University of Melbourne agrees, whilst it may help you drift off initially, nightcaps often lead to disrupted sleep and daytime drowsiness. Stick to warm milk for a sound night’s sleep.
So we said no distractions… this is the exception. Many of us struggle to sleep because we can’t save our worries for the morning. That’s where reading can help.
Books are the escapism you need to forget about whatever’s on your mind. Characters and clever plots capture your imagination, rewarding you with sweet dreams instead of a restless night.
But don’t use that as an excuse to dig out your ereader or tablet, as studies show that these suppress melatonin levels. Leaf through a physical book for the best results.
Reduce your stress
The most common reason for being unable to sleep is anxiety. We become overwhelmed by the slightest thing, allowing pent-up tension to torment us and steal our sleep. If by day 6, you’re still struggling to shake off that stressful feeling, address it.
A simple but effective way of doing this is by writing a to-do list. Take a piece of paper and pen and scribble down everything that’s playing on your mind - absolutely everything. Sometime’s seeing your problems in black and white helps you gain a little perspective and realise that maybe things aren’t so bad.
Put it all into practice and create a routine
You’ve made it to the end of your 7 day challenge, congratulations! Now for the finishing touches - apply everything you’ve learnt so far and put it all into practice. The real challenge here is committing to an effective sleeping routine - one which ensures that you’re comfortable, carefree and get the 8-hours a night you need.
If you’re still finding it hard master a successful sleeping pattern, this one may be out of realbuzz’s hands. Never shy away from seeking medical help, they may have the answer.