Weekly Challenge: Get 8 Hours of Sleep a Night

Good morning and happy Monday! I hope you had a fabulous holiday weekend! I enjoyed a full weekend of family and food! And I'm proud to report Cadbury Eggs 0: Sara 1 - I haven't given in! Woo hoo! This week's challenge could not be more timely; I'm asking us to get more sleep! Personally, this is something I struggle with a lot; I'm a night owl and have the hardest time waking up in the morning. But, when I get in enough sleep and have my clothes laid out for the next morning, nothing feels better than waking up rested and starting my day on the right foot! Also, sleep also has a lot to do with the way you LOOK!

Check out what sleep deprivation can do to a person:

SleepDeprivationThis infographic is from the Huffington Post.

Clearly there are a lot of issues that can stem from sleep deprivation, and much more serious ones than just the way you look! Breast cancer, brain tissue loss, and heart disease - pretty scary stuff!

I also know that sleep is an intricate part of any training program - sleep is when you're body gets stronger! And, most of you can probably tell a difference in when you sleep and when you don't during a workout!

This week, I challenge you to not only get 8 hours of sleep  a night, but to log it as well! Write down when you go to went to bed for sleep and when you woke up so that you can look compare how you felt on days with more sleep!

If you're not sure where to begin to accomplish this, here are a few tips:

// Complete darkness: Studies show sleeping in complete darkness is best. That means close the blinds and turn off the TV. Sleeping in darkness may help with weight loss too! 

// Log off at least an hour before bed: This is a tough one if you're a nighttime scroller like me, but one tip is to try plugging up your phone in a room away from the bedroom (like the kitchen or den), and get back to using an old school alarm.

// Sleepy time tea or sleep scents: Try using lavender or other relaxation-inducing scents to help your eyelids get heavy! I also love this Sleeptime tea and with a splash of honey it doubles as dessert. (Lavender has also been shown to help with anxiety!)

// Use ear plugs: If you're a light sleeper, try ear plugs to keep out nighttime noise that might disrupt your sleep! You may also want to try a sleep mask if you can't get your bedroom completely dark!

// Use a sleep monitor: One of my favorite features of the FitBit is that it can track your sleep patterns - it's really cool and shows you any periods you were restless. This will demonstrate just how much sleep you're actually getting and may prompt you to try to turn in earlier!

Good luck with this week's challenge!! Remember, I'll be doing it too!

What time do you go to bed and wake up most mornings?