Today is day 10 of my 30-day sleep hygiene challenge–it’s hard to believe I’m already one third of the way through it. For one thing, I don’t feel like I’ve been working to improve my sleep hygiene all that long; for another, well, I don’t know…I guess I was expecting some sort of miracle change in my body’s approach to sleep to take place overnight (no pun intended, really). Needless to say, that’s not exactly the path things have followed.
That’s not to say that things haven’t been going well, though! On the contrary, I think the challenge has done a lot for my sleep hygiene so far. In just 10 days, I’ve managed to:
- Get into bed earlier
- Break the habit of using the bed for things other than sleep (laptop use, other daily activities)
- Fall asleep a little earlier (I think, anyway)
- Shut down my laptop and spend the hour or so before bedtime doing things that are less stimulating and more relaxing
Over the past couple days, I’ve also noticed that I feel much less tired and groggy in the mornings. It’s true that for the most part the positive effects of this challenge are mostly intangible at this part, but I think progress is being made! At the beginning of the month, I had a few days where I ended up sleeping terribly; things have definitely improved in comparison to how they were when I first started the challenge.
There are some things about the challenge that have been kind of tricky (but it is a challenge, so I guess it’s to be expected). For one thing, I’m coming to terms with the fact that sometimes, I’m just not ready to shut down my laptop at 9 pm (ahem, *right now*). Clearly there is a time management issue that should probably be addressed in this case. Also, being in bed doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to fall asleep any earlier than I usually do–I’m learning that all I can really do is try to train my body to get used to an earlier bedtime, and that it’s unreasonable for me to expect to fall asleep at 10 pm every night of the week, just because that’s what I’d like to be doing.
One of my goals for the next 20 days is to try out a few pre-bedtime relaxation aids, like the ones I mentioned in my original post. I’ve held off on incorporating these things into my routine so far because I wanted to start off simply by getting my body to adjust to a new routine. Now that I’m feeling pretty comfortable with the new behaviors I’ve introduced, I think it’s time to try out some things like a little bit of yoga, some sleepy time tea, or a glass of warm milk. Will any of these supposed sleep-inducing standbys have a positive effect on my shut-eye? That’s what I’ll be trying to find out!