The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night for adults. Those who are getting that amount, acknowledge that it does in fact, make them feel better—increasing energy, alertness, happiness, and function. At Summit Medical Group, we want everyone to experience this. So, this month we challenge you to prioritize sleep by making small lifestyle changes that will ensure seven hours of quality sleep each night for at least one week straight. This 7 Hours/7 Days Sleep Challenge will promote healthy sleep and improve your mind, performance, and wellbeing.
Pick a week, any week and treat yourself to our sleep challenge!
Before you begin our challenge, ask yourself…
– How many hours of sleep do I average each night?
– Do I awaken feeling well rested?
– Do I have difficulty “powering down” prior to bed?
– Do I believe sleep can improve my mood?
Then, set a goal of achieving 7 hours of sleep each night for 7 days straight!
Here are some tips to help ensure success:
- Get natural light within the first 20 minutes of waking
- Take a “sun” break during the day
- Avoid electronics at least 60 minutes before bed
- Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bed
- Stick to a sleep schedule
- Do NOT nap after 3pm
- Eat foods high in fiber and low in sugar
- Avoid alcohol and nicotine 3-4 hours before bed
- Exercise for 30 minutes of more during the day, avoiding the 2-3 hours leading to bedtime
- Avoid bright light 30 minutes prior to bed
- During sleep hours, keep bedroom as dark as possible (blackout curtains, sleep mask)
- Keep bedroom cool. Between 65-70 degrees is optimal.
- Practice a bedtime ritual such as dimming lights & turning down the thermostat, read or listen to an audiobook or podcast, practice gratitude by jotting down moments from your day, review tomorrow’s calendar, stretch, meditate, use aromatherapy, take a warm bath or shower
- If you awaken during the night, here are some tips to help you fall back to sleep:
- If you are awake for more than 20 minutes, get out of bed—do something quiet and unexciting—listen to quiet music, reread something, knit or color.
- Avoid electronic screens. After 20 minutes spent doing these activities, attempt to reestablish sleep. Keep it dim. Light signals your body to wake up.
- If thoughts, worries or ideas are keeping you up, jot them down to release them and revisit them in the morning. Stretch, meditate or breathe.