For week two of our #HealthyHabits2017 challenge we decided to tackle sleep by making sure we got enough of it. 6-8 hours of it a night to be exact, because sometimes it can be a little difficult to get that with responsibilities taking up our time and well, the black hole that is the internet, even though sleep is vital to our wellbeing.
Sleep affects everything from our cognitive function to our immune systems - you’re much less likely to catch a virus if your body is well rested. It can help with stress, ensure proper function of your metabolism and help to regulate blood pressure. Basically the better the sleep you get, the better your waking life is.
The great thing now is that people are developing and creating amazing things to help us get better sleep. There are apps that send out ambient noise to help soothe you to snooze land. Apps that monitor your breathing while you sleep and wake you up at the best moment for you to feel rested. There are even lights that wake you up in winter by slowly turning on making it much easier to get into your daily rhythm than stumbling around in the dark. Sometimes a restless night is unavoidable, either your brain won’t switch off or you have kids or family members that won’t let you sleep… But the active effort of trying to create a routine and build a habit of at least trying to get regular sleep will have a better effect on you than not trying.
HOW DID IT GO AND WERE THERE ANY PROBLEMS?
I'm a night owl so going to bed is extremely difficult for me for no real reason. I'm not normal in the slightest when it comes to sleep and my brain has its prime functioning time at around 10pm till 2am. I love sleep but I hate going to sleep, the quiet of the night is my time to focus and engage my brain without distraction and when I do get into bed it feels like it takes forever to switch off. I equally hate the process of waking up, when the world wants me to face it I just want to stay snuggled in the sheets. I once read about Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder and I genuinely think I am effected by it. Since becoming freelance though, I've allowed my body to work at it's own times I actually feel a lot more awake and able to do my work at times that are in line with how my stubborn body likes to do things...
That being said things have fallen a little off schedule since the days started turning dark and it is still proving almost as hard to wake up at a reasonable time even though I don't need to be anywhere. So this week for me was more about gaining a regular sleep schedule and in all honesty it was a bit hit and miss. I successfully managed to get just over 7 hours of sleep most of the week according to Sleep Cycle and a couple of the days only 5 and a half... Obviously I felt much more awake on the days where the sleep was longer and I actually felt there be minute shift toward a little more regularity this week which has helped with the hectic workload. I feel like a longer experiment with this one is needed to feel the benefits fully: clearer skin, calmer nerves.
However, I did notice the metabolism thing, on one of the days where I got very little sleep I felt incredibly bloated when I woke up which is not a feeling I have felt in a while. Moving forward I think I'll carry on trying to cultivate a regular bed time. I'll do this through:
1. setting an alarm to remind me to go to bed.
2. set a timer on my computer to switch off by a certain time.
3. plan a time I want to wake up and try and stick to it.
4. with that in mind set a regular bed time that allows me to go to bed 8 hours before I want to wake up.
Are you joining in with our challenge? If so let us know how it's going, we'd love to hear! And for next week, week number three... we're tackling the thing every dentist ever, tells us to do: Flossing everyday, at least once a day! Happy #HealthyHabits2017 everyone!
Image credits to @ohyoupiggyboo (because her sleepy face is much cuter than mine).