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Get Better Sleep Challenge for March.

Discussion in 'Fitness Challenges' started by Justitia, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    This is a new edited version --hopefully simpler and more encouraging. Anyone can join in at any time.

    I am suffering a lot recently from a resistance to getting sleep. I am not sure what brought it on but sleep problems are something I have suffered through all my life.

    So here is the challenge:

    Set up a schedule of what you want to do do about sleep, what you need to do to get to sleep and what times you want to go to sleep.

    Then see how well you can stick with it for the month of March.

    Post every day what time you went to sleep the night before -- the time you got up --- how well you slept through the night or what else happened. and how many hours you slept.

    Don't worry if you fall off the wagon -- the important thing is to get back on.

    The purpose of this thread is just to us conscious of the choices we make.




    So here is my challenge:

    1. Sundays through Thursdays I start to get ready for bed at 10:00 PM.

    2. At 10:30, I put on a talk show podcast (not a TV show) and turn out the lights. (I need the podcast to engage my mind so I will go to sleep --otherwise my mind is racing all night.)

    I am not sure these days how much sleep I need. I have been having sleeping problems for the last 3 years -- largely brought on by medical problems. But those are at an end. I am in the healing stage for just about everything. But I also older now than 3 years ago and at my age that makes a difference.

    3. So I am going to guess that I need 8 hours and 15 minutes of sleep each night. If it proves to be longer, I will modify my requirements.

    4. On Friday and Saturday -- bedtime for me can be anywhere form 12:30 to 2:00 Am depending on what I choose. I don't know how I will sleep when I start so late -- I have problems with sun facing directly into my bedroom windows in the summer with no blinds that can block out the sun. I have wall to wall windows that go from ceiling almost down to the floor for a 17 foot expanse.

    I am working with someone to figure out a way to put up black-out material. The windows are not amenable to curtains or shades. It's a rental apartment so I am limited in what I can do.

    But my goal is to get 8 hours and 15 minutes on those nights too.

    So it starts with the evening of March 1st -- which is Sunday evening.

    But anyone can join in at any time...
     
    #1 Justitia, Feb 27, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
  2. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    So since nobody seems to be signing up -- I decided to get rid of the point system. I thought it would be a good incentive.

    But now I am proposing that people just post what they want their slep schedule to be and then paost how they did the next day.

    So I edited the above to reflect that.

    And I start tonight... :jumping:
     
  3. euan

    euan Active Member

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    Good idea for a challenge! I've been making a bit more of an effort over the last month to get better sleep and I'm reaping the benefits. I've been feeling more energetic, performing better in the gym and feeling more alert during lectures.

    My goals are (weekdays) to be in bed by 9pm and (weekends) to be in bed by 11pm and to get 8-9 hours of sleep.

    Time to hit the hay :sleep:
     
  4. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    I need more sleep :(
     
  5. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Welcome aboard Euan & Cason! Glad to have your company.. :nod:

    Well, I didn't make it to sleep until midnight and then I was woken up by the University at 5:00AM to tell me the were delaying opening the school until 10:00Am because of weather. Later on they called to say it closed completely. :rolleyes:

    I could not get back to sleep so I worked on my workout routine for this morning.

    I am goginto see if I can't take a nap later this afternoon.

    So far today only 5 hours sleep. -- Not good. :nope:

    I think I am going to count up the days I get to bed timely and get a good night's sleep for the month.

    I am also going to count the days I am in sleep deficit and how many hours.

    Since they say naps can catch up missed hours -- I will update this at the end of the day, in case I get a nap in.

    Edit I did get about 45 minute nap. I am so dead tired..

    1 day short: 2 1/2 hours
     
    #5 Justitia, Mar 2, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  6. euan

    euan Active Member

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    Last night was okay; was in bed before 9pm but couldn't doze off until what I guess was around 10ish. I hate when that happens. Got about 8.5 hours though so everything turned out okay.
     
  7. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    Going to sleep early tonight. My program is screwed for my class so I cant do the work. Maybe its trying to tell me something. :lol:

    Made my food for the week. Now ready for some :sleep::sleep:
     
  8. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Good going you guys, euan & Cason!

    I am so exhausted from lack of sleep. I shopped but did not do my food prep. I will have to do it in the AM.

    I'm in bed already and it is only 10:24 my time.

    Hopefully no 5:00 AM calls tomorrow morning.

    Night everyone!
     
  9. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    Tonight and tomorrow I am screwed for sleep. Two BIG assignments due one after another and I have NO time other than 9-10pm or later. Looks like maybe an all nighter. :(
     
  10. euan

    euan Active Member

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    Unlucky Cason; good luck with the assignments.

    Last night and the night before were good for me. In bed by 9 and got at least 8.5 hours sleep. This morning I was woken up at 4am though. Got back to sleep pretty quickly, but I hate when sleep is interrupted like that.
     
  11. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    Well I went to bed around 11:30pm and woke up around 6:50am and just called in for work went back to sleep until 10am. I felt like I was getting sick and figured I can knock out all of my assignments today and go to class tonight (6 pm-10pm). Now I don't have to worry about doing on of the assignments when I get out of my class. :tucool:
     
  12. digitalnebula

    digitalnebula Plagiarist

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    For me it has never been about scheduling....
    I simply cannot turn off my brain at night.

    A few years back, I started taking Advil PM/Tylenol PM....then someone here (Andy?) told me that Benadryl has the same "sleep aid" and does not have the pain relief baggage....
    So, I have been taking a Benadryl equivalent at night to help me with sleep for the last six months or so when I really need it...

    I guess the challenge for me would be to find a way to non-chemically shut my brain off at night....any suggestions?
     
  13. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    RTE told me about Benadryl as well. Works when I have it.

    Do you drink coffee?
     
  14. euan

    euan Active Member

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    I find it easier to get to sleep when the room is as dark as possible and the temperature is quite cool. Stopping drinking coffee in the afternoons worked wonders for me also.

    Reading sometimes helps me shut down too (similar to what Justitia mentioned about podcasts).
     
  15. digitalnebula

    digitalnebula Plagiarist

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    Couple times a week...and only first thing in the morning...

    I cut off caffeine before lunch...

    I need near total darkness too...
    The wife won't let me set the thermostat where I like it...65-68...I'm stuck at the "compromise" temperature of 70-72...:rolleyes:
     
  16. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Welcome aboard DigitalNebula (<-- I like your name :) )

    Though Benadryl is sold as an allergy medication here in the US, in Europe it is sold as a sleep medication. Though I use it primarily for food allergies, I have used it in this past year to help me sleep. It just made me groggy when used over successive nights.

    When I was younger, I could use reading a book until I started to fall asleep, now even the act of putting the book down and turning of the lights wakes me up enough that my mind is racing and I will be up all night.

    The podcasts are the only thing that work for me. It has to be something that will engage my mind enough but not enough to stimulate it: Fresh Air, This American Life, The Moth and the Diane Rehm show used to help but it has been so depressing since the Iraq war and now th economy, I can't listen to it without getting upset or too engaged. But you can search through these shows until you find a subject you like. Music wakes me right up.

    What I do is select and turn the podcast on, turn out the lights, start to listen and I am asleep with in 20 minutes. The show itself will turn off at the end of the podcast and things will be totally silent for the rest of the night.

    Given that you are sleeping in the same room as your wife, you can put the podcast on an MP3 player and use earbuds that fall out easily. Then your wife doesn't have to hear it and once you fall asleep and move, the earbuds will fall out and not bother you. You could just put in one side in fact.

    I use only decaf -- but I use Starbucks -- which is notorious for having rather high caffeine content for a decaf... :lol: (I can usually tell the difference in the caffeine content of decaf coffee beans from different companies or type of bean. I only go to stores that offer fresh roasted beans and grind it myself and use a French Press to make the coffee -- the quality is so high that way -- I don't mind the decaf.)

    Though I have to admit I've been drinking half and half decaf and caffeine in the last year and I wonder if that is the source of the increased problem == But I cut it off midday too.


    Actually everyone needs total darkness -- or your melatonin production can get screwed up.



    (I don't usually order Mercola's products and I know he hypes things -- but as far as I have seen -- his info is dead on correct (except, I found, in one instance -- but later he retracted it with a correction. In the article I linked to -- he has quite few good recommendations for sleep.)

    I have a problem with getting my bedroom dark because it is nearly floor to ceiling and wall to wall 17 foot long glass window on the top of a high rise that looks out over the city in the middle of downtown.

    During the summer the sun 's location in the sky causes the sun to shine directly into my bedroom as soon as it rises -- like 5:30 AM. This is a rental apartment and there are vertical blinds installed -- They replaced vertical blinds that completely blocked out the light with ones that didn't. I complained and they put on a sleeve on each blind that doubled the thickness but that didn't help enough. Apparently because of the chemicals used to make the blinds that shut out light altogether are environmentally hazardous-- you can't get blackout blinds any more.

    I've tried sleeping masks but they come off in the middle of the night. When I wake up in the AM from the sunlight, I put the mask on and I can get back to sleep but it is already too late WRT to the melatonin production.

    So I found this: Shift Shades. However, my building management just replaced all the windows in the building (which it desperately needed because apartments, especially mine were flooding all the time) but the new windows had no "edges" to hole the tension rods of the shift shades-- which is what made them so great.

    I found out about a trick photographers use to create a dark room with Velcro and black out material.

    The guy who makes the shift shades -- (he does this as a sideline) is working with me to design black out material with Velcro. We got the kind of Velcro that is sticky with a rubber substance (not the acrylic == that Velcro also makes) and the plan is for me to stick one side of the two Velcro pieces attached to each other on the window frames (there are 6 windows across -- each 6 feet high --there is a ledge and about 2-3 feet to the floor) and then expose the sticky part on the other side and press the material on it. That way I can remove the black out material during the day -- assuming the Velcro holds -- and I will be able to remove the Velcro permanently if I ever move.

    See if you can't get her to let it be 69 degrees -- under 70 is supposed to be important to your health. If she is coled -- tell her to wear socks to be which is also highly recommended any way for sleep.She might have poor circulation and her extremities get cold at night.

    Anyway -- my report --

    I could not get to sleep Tuesday night until 2:00Am after teaching until 7:30 PM even though I went to bed at 10:00 PM and I had to get up to go to the doctor for my post op visit. And I felt awful all day after that visit as well.

    I got to sleep shortly before midnight last night and woke up at 8:15. So I got a good night's sleep but I am a long way from being caught up.

    I was re-reading the Mercola link and he said it was important to stop working 2 hours before bed. I think that has been a major cause of my sleep problems. I've been working way too hard for the last 2 years and the earliest I would get home would be 10:00 PM. I could never sleep before midnight.

    So I am going to try to get home by 8:00 PM if possible. Leave straight from class when I teach at night.

    I should not have spent so much time writing this post -- it took an hour -- :rolleyes: I am off to the gym...
     
  17. digitalnebula

    digitalnebula Plagiarist

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    Thanks. :)


    One thing that obliterates any hope for a reasonable bed time....evening activity. :nod:

    I am now playing in an ultimate frisbee league that has matches at either 6 PM or 8 PM on Monday nights....
    The 6PM match does not seem to have much impact...but the 8 PM match calls for some well thought out tactics in hoping for pre-midnight sleep...
    - After the game a shower focused on cooling my body temp down
    - A small meal
    - Relaxing music throughout the evening
    - A 10 PM Benadryl
    - No work
    - No phone calls
    - No stimulation of any kind
    - If all goes well....I'm out before 12....
     
  18. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    Well after a 30 minute talk with a friend from class I am home and ready for bed. 10pm now and have to wake up at 5:45am. I feel much better with that one day of 9 hours.
     
  19. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Got 8 hours and 15 minutes last night.

    Felt much better today but still not caught up with sleep.

    Just got home from work... I ended up working late cause I screwed off in the AM.

    I have a conference to attend in the AM.

    I am already in bed and ready to go to sleep.

    I am going to watch one show to unwind then put on the podcast and go to sleep.

    It feels like we are all making progress though I would like to make a little more.
     
  20. euan

    euan Active Member

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    Glad to hear things are improving for you, Justitia!

    I've had a good week so far. Got almost 9 hours last night. I think March will be good for me up until the last weekend of the month when they stop Daylight Saving Time here. That 1 hour change in the clocks always throws me off for a week or so.
     

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