*This post is sponsored by Bed Guru.
I don’t know what has happened to me over the last six months or so, but my sleeping pattern is ABSOLUTELY awful.
As I work from home I find it so hard to switch off. It’s so easy to stay up late at night working or to grab my laptop and go back to work if someone emails me with something urgent. I don’t really get a lot of downtime and when I do, it’s spent worrying about all the stuff I could be doing to earn money.
Because of this, I find that when I’m lying in bed trying to sleep my mind is worrying about everything else it could be doing. Most nights this goes on for hours before I am finally able to get some rest.
When I do fall asleep it’s normally uninterrupted, but there are some occasions where I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and start scrolling through Instagram or answering emails. It’s awful I know, but the first thing I do when I wake up is grab my phone as it’s right next to me.
The Bed Guru #ChooseSleep Challenge
When The Bed Guru got in touch and asked if I wanted to take part in a challenge that would help me improve my sleep in just 30 days, I honestly couldn’t say yes fast enough. My work-life balance is so important to me and I feel like my mental health is a massive part of that, and something I really want to improve as we going the New Year.
They promised that after 30 days of following their advice and tracking my habits using their handy little chart, I’d see a massive difference in my sleep and feel happier and healthier.
So, what is the #ChooseSleep challenge?
The challenge is designed to improve your mental health and your physical health, at the same time as helping you feel less fatigued and increasing your productivity. Sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, based on their research and changing a few habits, 30 days is apparently all it takes. Luckily, I’ve put it to the test for you AND I’ve recorded my experience week by week to let you know if anything has changed.
The things that the challenge suggests you change are:
- Going to bed at a similar time each day (I find this very hard as it’s unpredictable what time I’ll finish work)
- Exercising daily, but not right before bed
- Not drinking caffeine after 2 pm (this is okay for me, as I don’t drink caffeine)
- Avoiding having a nightcap
- Keeping your room dark and below 18 degrees (I’ve had to fight with my boyfriend over the heating for this one)
- Banning all electronic devices an hour before bed
- Eating no later than a couple of hours before bed (Again, this has been incredibly difficult as I love having chocolate in bed)
Alongside these changes, I had a simple form to fill out every morning that asked me to track how long I slept, the quality of the sleep, how I felt in the morning and a couple of other bits that reflect the points above.
To be quite honest, I didn’t notice much of a difference after week one. I kind of felt a little bit happier each morning when I woke up, but at this point, I think I was just feeling frustrated that I was breaking my routine of watching TV in bed with a bar of chocolate.
I was also finding it hard to exercise every day as this wasn’t something I was used to. I had to find a way to work it into my routine that meant I wasn’t losing any time working, which as I am ALWAYS working, was very very difficult.
Week 2 I started to notice a few changes and I was definitely waking up feeling a lot happier and ready to go, but I was still struggling to fall asleep. I found that not having my phone actually meant that I was just lying in bed thinking absolutely everything and anything, which is just as bad when you’re trying to fall asleep.
By the time week 3 rolled around I was really able to notice the difference in my mood when waking up. Normally I would scroll on my phone for an hour or so before getting out of bed, but by this point, I was waking up with so much energy I wanted to get up pretty much straight away. Obviously, this has done wonders for cutting down how late I am working each night as I was starting at least an hour earlier each day.
I still, however, was struggling to fall asleep at night.
By week 4 I was starting my mornings pretty much as soon as I woke up and I was feeling much happier and healthier in my self. My productivity in the mornings had definitely improved and I felt that it made an impact on my overall work-life balance as I was able to stop work at 6 pm most nights – something I haven’t been able to do for at least 6 months.
In terms of falling asleep easier at night, I think 30 days would have been a bit of a miracle to change. It’s been something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember, so I reckon if I keep up the #ChooseSleep habits it will definitely fix in time (as I did see some slight improvements some nights).
Overall, I am so glad that I took part in the in The Bed Guru #ChooseSleep challenge as it has made so much difference to the way I feel in a morning. Although it wasn’t necessarily what I set out to change, it has already made such a huge impact on my life and I’m feeling so much happier for it.
How Can You Take Part In The #ChooseSleep Challenge?
To download your own version of the challenge and to take part, you can visit The Bed Guru website here.
Let me know if you take part in the challenge as I’d love to hear your results too!