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6 Week Better Sleep Challenge

Tuesday 11th September 2018

6 Weeks to Better Sleep - The Challenge


Introduction

When we spend our whole day using our brains to problem solve, it can be difficult to ‘switch off’ before bed. Sometimes when it comes to sleeping, we struggle to stop ‘doing’ in our mind, when we really need our mind to just 'be' - so the body can rest and recover. This can lead to hours of restlessness; lying awake thinking, or a night of broken sleep that doesn’t feel beneficial - or a bit of both!

The Challenge

This challenge is all about creating a progressive change in our habitual behaviour, to achieve better sleep. It is a 6 week challenge, set up in a way that will hopefully not require too much effort to complete.
It will run as follows:

• Week 1 - Pre Sleep Practice for 1 night
• Week 2 - Pre Sleep Practice for 2 nights
• Week 3 - Pre Sleep Practice for 3 nights
• Week 4 - Pre Sleep Practice for 4 nights
• Week 5 - Pre Sleep Practice for 5 nights
• Week 6 - Keep it up for another week, and enjoy the benefits!

Download a weekly diary sheet to keep track of your progress here

Pre Sleep Preparation - The Practice

To prepare ourselves for sleep there are many things we can do, and stop doing before we go to bed.

Part 1 - Pre Sleep Abstinence

Simply cut out the following things that are known to interfere with sleep for at least 1 hour before bed:
• Caffeine
• Alcohol
• Phone / Computer / TV usage (basically anything with a backlit screen)
• Sugar / Food in general

For some of the pre sleep practices a phone or laptop will be required, but try to spend as little time as possible looking at the screen and don’t be tempted to look at social media!

Part 2 - Pre Sleep Practice

During the last 20 minutes of the hour, do some pre sleep practices such as:

• Listen to some very calm music
• Practice some timed breathing
• Use an app such as Headspace or Calm to do a meditation or sleep story
• Do a body scan meditation
• Do some very gentle, slow and relaxed movements, with big deep breaths
• Visualise your day from start to finish, without getting hung up on any particular detail - just like you are watching a fly on the wall documentary of your day!

Resources


Calm Music
Timed Breathing
Headspace App
Calm App
Insight Timer App
Body Scan
Gentle Movements (Video Option 1)
Gentle Movements (Video Option 2)
Gentle Movements (Video Option 3)

Some Other Ideas

Move your phone away from your bed - possibly to another room, or at least far enough away that you can’t reach it to check it all the time! Cut down on caffeine, alcohol, and sugary food and drinks. Do more exercise - it doesn’t need to be strenuous, it could just be a walk round the block or even up and down the stairs a few times! Fresh air can be really beneficial, as can a quiet place to sleep. If your room can’t be quiet due to your circumstances, maybe try creating some ‘white noise’ with a fan or listening to some relaxing music.