Better Sleep Project-Updates
Hi friends, Happy Halloween!! I accidentally disappeared off the blog and social media last week- I think I just needed a little breather from all forms of social media. I totally recommend taking little breaks now and then to help you refocus and reprioritize. But I'm back now and today, I wanted to share a little update on how my Better Sleep Project has been going! If you're new around here, a little over a month ago I made the decision to improve my sleep. I had been having a hard time going to bed at the same time each night, staying asleep and feeling rested the next day. If you missed the first post, check it out here.
Over the past month I tried out a few tactics to help me sleep better. Some worked well, others didn't. Below I'm going through each one, talking about what worked, what didn't.
iPhone bedtime alarm: This actually worked pretty well for me. Having an alarm go off to remind me when to start winding down and getting ready for bed was really helpful. It was a good reminder that I should stop looking at my computer, or Netflix or whatever, and start getting ready for sleep. I think that this is one that I will definitely continue to do.
Bedtime yoga: Unfortunately, this one didn't help me at all. Getting to bed early was difficult enough for me, but having time to dedicate to going through yoga was not something I prioritized. Maybe, once I get better at going to bed at the same time, yoga will be a beneficial routine to add in. At this point though, it's probably not something I'll keep trying to do.
Using a real alarm clock: Extremely helpful! I got out an old alarm clock that I used during college and set it up in my room. The alarm clock allowed me to not need to have my phone right next to me in bed, and I wasn't scrolling through my phone for an extended period of time before falling asleep. Will definitely continue to use my alarm clock.
Getting ready for bed “prematurely”: When I did this, it was great! Not needing to go through all the "motions" when I was ready to face plant into bed, was awesome. Not always feasible to do on a nightly basis, but I think going forward I'll make sure I get ready for bed as early as I can.
Reading/Praying before bed: This wasn't super helpful. I think that by the time I was able to actually get into bed, I was already so tired and pretty much just passed out. Reading in the morning, when I had time, went better for me. I'm naturally a morning person so going to bed earlier, to have more time in the morning might be the way to go for me.
Sleep journal: Honestly, did not get very far with this one. The few times I did remember to jot some notes down, they were helpful, but I couldn't get myself into a good enough routine to get much out of it. However, it was pretty obvious to me what was working and what wasn't so I continued to do those things that were working.
Overall, I feel like I've done better with my sleep and night time habits but I still have a long way to go. The nights that I did the best with getting to bed on time and staying asleep, I felt 1000% better the next day. My mood always seemed to be better, appetite normal, and way more focused at work. The days that I didn't do so hot, I felt sluggish, drained and hungry. Funny how that's exactly what the research shows too!
Unfortunately, rough nights of sleep aren't always avoidable (think new babies, illness, etc). No matter how much I improve my bedtime habits, things will come up at some point and major life events will change things. I may not always be able to get a good night's rest. But that's okay, because even though life is unpredictable, it's important to continually make strive to make positive change in our lives. It's always worth it in the long run!
Thanks to everyone who reached out with suggestions! Let me know how you did if you participated with me :)