sleep

Monthly Challenge #3: Regular Sleep Schedule

I’ve long thought of a healthy lifestyle consisting of 3 parts.

1- Exercise and physical conditioning

2- Nutritional support and healthy eating

3- Rest and relaxation including sleep

All three of these aspects have their own role to play and it’s almost impossible to make up for a lack in one area by over compensation in another.

Many folks tend to focus on either optimizing their diet or their exercise, but getting enough sleep falls in last place.

It’s a shame, because without enough sleep you could be doing some serious under cutting to your diet and exercise potential.

That’s why this month’s challenge is to try sticking to a normal sleep schedule during the work week. Aim to get to sleep and wake up within the same 1 hour window.

The reason for this challenge is to help establish a consistent sleep schedule. Like diet and exercise, wild swings in consistency often wreak more havoc than good. That and it’s almost impossible to maintain optimal levels of health by skimping in sleep during the work week and then make up for it by sleeping in on Sunday.

Of course, I’m not your mother so I’m not going to tell you when you should hit the sack or wake up. However here are some general ideas to get you started on the right track:

- Try to fall asleep before midnight.

- Needing to always wake up to an alarm clock is a sign you may need to get to be earlier on a regular basis.

- Avoid TV or the computer up to an hour before going to bed.

- Take up a relaxing habit, like reading, that helps relax you before turning in.

A consistent sleep schedule can make both your diet and exercise efforts much easier and fruitful. So get ready to visit Mr. Sandman on regular schedule. You might just find he’s your best friend for health and fitness.

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Comments

  1. Laurie Mackeson

    Matt,

    Challenge accepted! I have needed to improve my sleep routine for a little while now. I will: Go to bed between 9-10pm and get up 4-5am (personal circumstances dictate this) AND avoid TV and computer 30mins before bed AND do something relaxing in the 30mins before be time. Thanks Mum, I mean Matt for the most recent web-casts.

    3 Challenges Accepted…. If you can’t handle the heat, stay in VT (in winter) and out of AUST in summer.

    Laurie

  2. Laurie Mackeson

    Matt and Red Delta ‘Force’ Members

    AIM: (1) Go to bed between 9-10pm (2) Perform a relaxing task for 30mins before sleep and (3) Avoid TV and computer/Internet ‘just’ prior to sleep.

    WHAT DID I LEARN/EXPERIENCE?

    This was always going to be the toughest of the challenges to complete. Due to some very stressful work circumstances which have been happening for the past 6-8 months, my sleep has been impacted and my energy at ‘wake-up’ is down from a 8/9 out of 10 to a 7. On a positive, I my willingness to get ‘straight-up’ is still ‘good’ and after a short time 5-10mins, I am ‘in the swing of what needs to be done. I was not able to ‘produce’ better sleeping habits BUT I am sure I benefited from the extra sleep during these difficult times.

    This challenge encouraged me to think about how I was using my time in the hour leading up to bedtime. I am learning to make sure I have a good routine during this time, a routine that has inbuilt flexibility as well. Getting some general house cleaning and food preparation for the next day were both enjoyable and an effective use of my time. During this month we have started training our dogs to be outside earlier. They are now trained to handle any time between 9-9:30pm instead of their old (and very much preferred time [by them]) 10pm. Lucky they can’t ‘blog’ their own thoughts/feelings to this change.

    I will give myself a 7 out of 10 for this challenge.

    WHERE TO FROM HERE?

    I will make my next fortnight/month challenge to go to bed at the same time as my wife. I find I need a ‘little less’ sleep than her and on the many occasions I have gone to bed when she does (and it is easy to do so), I wake up during the night, or worse still an hour or so before I am going to get up, and I am more tired after that bit more sleep. Comments/Thoughts/Suggestions on this matter?

    Cheers
    Laurie ‘Making the most of the weather’ Mackeson

    1. Author
      admin

      I like your perspective to keep your eyes on the horizon with each of these challenges. Most would be simply happy to stick to the challenge but you seek to go beyond and advance to the next step. Very good!

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