Sleep Challenge – Week 1: Sleep Matters

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Welcome to the Sleep Challenge! This month we are going to focus on all things SLEEP. How much sleep we need, the quality of our sleep and how to get more sleep and better sleep. Sound like a challenge you can get behind? Me too!

If you were around for the Fruit & Veggie Challenge in January you will recognize our format. This week we are going to focus on AWARENESS. Sleep matters. We will learn more about how sleep and rest effect our bodies in the coming weeks, but it is important to know where we are so we can see if we need to make some changes. (I’m guessing no one will walk away from this month thinking they are sleeping TOO much, amiright?)

Your goal for this week is to start tracking how much you are sleeping. There are a variety of ways to do this from a pen & pencil to a heart-rate monitor or sleep app. If you have an iPhone the new Health app has a sleep tracker where you can monitor when you climb in bed and when you fall asleep. There are also a number of suggested apps there with increase functionality. I know many Fitbit users are able to track their sleep by wearing the bracelet at night. The important thing is get a baseline. If you have a new born baby, you are likely getting less sleep than most of us, but it is important to start tracking. If you are asleep, track it. That means when you sleep at night, when you doze off on the train or take a nap with your toddler. (Bonus points if you start tracking things like how well you slept, interruptions, foods you ate, things you drank, exercise, etc.) Do your best and don’t think to hard about it. Remember, this week is about AWARENESS.

The general recommendations for adult sleep according to WebMD are roughly 7 hours. “Most Americans” are getting less sleep. Some of us need less, but some of us need more. Our goal at the end of this challenge is to recognize what Lifestyle choices affect our sleep for better and for worse. We ultimately want better quality and adequate sleep for our own unique selves. Sleep matters. When we check in next week we will begin focusing on factors that effect our sleep quality: how we move, how we think and how we eat. (Oh Kale Yeah!)

During our last challenge I loved receiving pictures of you guys eating your fruits & veggies. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if you all started sending in pictures of you sleeping? Extra points for drool!

Remember to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for fun tips in between blog posts each Monday. Happy sleep tracking!

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