Getting a good night’s sleep can be a real struggle. Between working, a social life, family, hobbies and everything else in between, there just seem to not be enough hours in the day. But this fall, I’m going to challenge you to make sleep a priority. We all know it takes longer than seven days to make a new habit stick, but it’s certainly a start. Pick a Sunday, and start from day one, and then don’t stop. It’s easy with small, actionable steps! Keep reading for our healthy 7-day fall sleep challenge!
Day 1 – Set your schedule
Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night to function properly and maintain a healthy being. A common mistake people make is starting their bedtime routine too late in the evening. If you need to be awake by 7 a.m. and want to get eight hours of sleep, start your bedtime routine at 9:30 p.m. or 10 p.m. to allow for buffer time. Adding that padding onto your sleep schedule will help guarantee you aren’t pressed for time.
Day 2 – Eat dinner earlier
If you fall asleep with a full stomach, your sleep won’t be as high quality. This week, try bumping dinner up an hour or two to allow for better digestion. Try to avoid spicy or fatty foods at dinner, as well. Luckily for you, carbs are your BFF when it comes to sleep.
Day 3 – Set a tech curfew
A tech curfew is one of the biggest keys to successful sleep. Blue light from television, cell phones and laptops can disrupt your sleep even after you’ve powered down the device. Set a tech curfew for a minimum of an hour before bedtime. Since you’ve already added that extra padding into your bedtime routine, make sure it’s screen-free time, as well.
Day 4 – Cozy up your bedroom
My husband gave me a hard time a few months ago because I was still wearing my high school cheer shorts as pajamas…15 years later! They were tattered and faded and even made it through my pregnancy. I invested in some soft, dreamy pajamas and the game was changed. On day 4, try buying a new pair of pjs, a new silk pillowcase and a quality humidifier. Making a few small changes in your bedroom helps signify to your brain and your body that you’re establishing new routines and habits. You don’t have to break the bank, just buy a few things that will get you excited about going to bed.
Day 5 – Implement a new bedtime beauty routine
Now that you have an extra hour or so before lights out, use that time for self-care. Create a small beauty routine that you can do before bed, or better yet, from bed. Body oils, sleep masks and hand creams are a lovely way to help you beautify before bed. And you can usually keep all of them in your nightstand and apply as you snuggle up in bed.
Day 6 – Destress and unwind
It’s amazing what five minutes of meditation can do to help you relax. As part of your new nightly ritual, implement a few unwinding techniques such as meditation, mindful breathing or even a yoga routine you can do from bed. I also highly recommend adding reading in as part of your nighttime routine—just stay away from thrillers and mysteries that will keep you awake!
Day 7 – Write it all down
Journaling is a great habit to implement before bed. Now that you’ve reached the final day in the weekly challenge, write about it! Write what worked, what didn’t and what you want to change. Just because the weekly challenge is up doesn’t mean you should stop implementing these habits into your routine. Use your journal as a source over the next few months to document your days, your dreams and everything in between. Before you know it, you’ll be sleeping like a baby on the regular.
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