Insomniacs Welcome: 7-Day Sleep Challenge

| Well Being

We know that there's a variety of tips and tricks that experts swear by when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. We're fully aware that we are supposed to be getting a solid 7-9 hours of sleep every night. We've been told countless times that sleeping is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Still, though, every night is a battle to get some shut-eye. There's constantly a concern (or ten) bouncing around our brains every time our head hits the pillow, and turning off those thoughts seems impossible.

can't sleep

It's estimated that around 70 percent of people have experienced insomnia at some point in their lives, and unfortunately women are more likely than men to experience difficulty sleeping. Luckily, in most cases it is not a permanent condition. There are a variety of different strategies you can try to help you get those much-needed ZZZs. If you're looking for a way to conquer your sleep problems, give this 7 day sleep challenge a try! We'll have you conked out in no time.

>> Read more: 5 Things You're Doing to Sabotage Your Sleeping Patterns

Day 1: Getting a good night's sleep is all about mental preparedness. You've got to let your body know that it's time to hit the sack and settle down. Try eating some sleep-inducing foods to let your brain know that it's time to calm down for the night. Healthy snacks like oatmeal, nuts, cherries, bananas, pineapple, and oranges contain high amounts of melatonin, which will help ease your body into sleep. Try to be in bed by 9 p.m. If youstill can't sleep by 10, try switching on a fan or some soothing music or nature sounds. If you still can't turn off your brain, try reading something calming, like poetry or Jane Austen.

Day 2: Even if you were unable to beat the insomnia on Day 1, keep in mind that this is a new day. You're starting fresh! Try drinking something warm that will help you settle down. Sleepy-time tea, warm milk and honey, or chamomile tea are great go-tos. Be sure to turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes before you climb into bed!

fat burning white tea

>> Read more: 8 Ways to Relieve Anxiety Without the Chill Pills

Day 3: Still struggling to drift off at a decent hour? Find a podcast or soundtrack that is mellow and low-key. Switch it on 30 to 45 minutes before you go to bed, and let your mind hone in on the story or sounds. Focus solely on the noise, not on all those thoughts crowding your head. At 9 p.m., turn it off and let yourself drift into sleep.

Day 4: Believe it or not, a little bit of movement before you hit the hay may be just what you need to settle down for the night! Stretching is a great way to calm the mind and body. A mere 10 minutes of stretching will be just the thing to help soothe that busy brain.

Day 5: You know how you always find yourself complaining that you don't get any time to just sit back and relax? Well, take those 30 minutes before lights out to give meditation a go! There are tons of meditation videos online, or you can just wing it. Be sure that there are no distractions around you, and concentrate on your breath. If you don't think you can sit still for 30 minutes, try 10-15 minutes first.

meditation3

>> Learn more about the basics of meditation here!

Day 6: Time to celebrate the end of the work week! Tonight, treat yourself to a relaxing bath, complete with candles, music and the most aromatic bubble you can find. Let that stress wash right off of you before you sink into sleep!

Day 7: You've made it! For the final night of the challenge, engage in some deep breathing techniques to help eliminate any stress or tension you are experiencing. There's plenty of zen music videos out there that will help you relax and focus on your breath. Hopefully, you will have no problems getting to sleep tonight!

For more information about the 7 day sleep challenge, check out our sources here: PopSugar, Hyland's Homeopathic, The Better Sleep Council, and Natural Society.