So I mentioned earlier how I was going back and redoing the 52 week challenge that was based off of the book 52 small changes: one year to a happier, healthier you by Brett Blumenthal.

Basically her book has 52 shortish chapters detailing a different type challenge for the week. These challenges cover areas such as diet and nutrition, fitness and prevention, mental well-being, and green living. While the title of book states 52 weeks (aka 1 year), the author notes “the amount of time required to make lasting change is highly individualistic and depends on the person, the change, and the circumstances.”

I have the first challenge pretty well under control. That particular challenge is to make sure that you are drinking enough water every day. My liquid intake usually is water, tea (caffeinated in the morning, and herbal at night), and almond milk.  Lately I will admit to grabbing a mocha on campus to get my caffeine in (also its been chilly and I didn’t feel like making a mug of tea before I left the house). So if I add in the tea to my water tally, I’m usually somewhere between 85 and over 100oz of water a day (my morning tea is usually a dilute [1 tea bag per 20oz] mug).

The second week challenge is going to be a little more difficult. The second week challenge is making sure you get enough sleep. The difficulty for me is going to be making sure that I’m getting roughly the same amount of sleep every night. So (to digress a little), back in November the battery to my fitbit zip died, and I couldn’t find the little piece of plastic you need to open the back and change the battery. So I decided that I would order an new one, except for the fact that they weren’t in stock. So I decided to upgrade and I got myself an fitbit alta. This new fitness tracker also monitors the amount of sleep I get every night as well.

This has helped me to slowly start tracking my sleeping patterns. The main one that sticks out is the fact that on the weekends I’m getting almost ten hours of sleep (going to bed at roughly the same time, but getting up almost three hours later), whereas during the week I’m lucky with seven (which is my goal).

I know that it is recommended that you go to bed and get up at the same time every day.  My only problem with that is I get up at quarter to six because I’m not really a morning person, and I need time to wake up before having to deal with people; and while that would give me quiet time in the morning on the weekend–I kind of like sleeping until almost nine in the morning.

One reason they suggest for that is due to the thought that sleeping in can make you even more tired (which I can agree with slightly–I have found myself yawning in the afternoon [and I know that there is no reason for it]).

So I’m going to treat this week two challenge as it is an monthly challenge, and here are the things I’m going to do to try to ensure that I start getting better night sleeps:

1. Look at the fitbit sleep data and try to see if there are any similar times that I’m tossing and turning (or awake), and can I determine why?

2. Make sure that I’m working out after work, but before dinner (this way it is a good four hours or so before bed).

3. Log all foods (especially afternoon & any evening snacks) to make sure that they aren’t messing with my sleep schedule.

4. Try to finish my evening decaf herbal tea hopefully by 8:30 at night; this is cutting it close to suggested cut-off time for liquids, but that is only because of the time I go to bed at night.

5. Finally, decide when to try to start going to bed & getting up at the time daily.

I know that the combination of all five of these things will help me get my sleep schedule straightened out, but I also know that the hardest one will be number five—I enjoy sleeping in on the weekends, and I also know that it will be a hard habit to break. That alone is why I’m figuring that this challenge will take me almost a month to ensure that I’m getting the same amount of sleep daily.

What are some of the things you do to try to make sure that you get a good night sleep?