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KC Sunshine

Sleep30

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I really enjoyed my first Whole30, but it became clear to me that of all the Whole 9 Factors, sleep is the one I have the most trouble with.

My sleeping habits are disordered at best - I go to sleep at different times every night, and often will be short on sleep during the week, only to try and make it up over the weekend and mess up my patterns all over again by sleeping in.

At the same time, I definitely feel off my game when I don't get enough sleep - headaches, brain fog, and an overall feeling of "meh".

So, I'm going to do create a 30 day program to refine my sleeping habits! Here are the ideas I have so far:

  • No screens for an hour before bed (as suggested by Dallas & Melissa).
  • Start the process of going to sleep at the same time each day (washing up, getting into bed, etc.)
  • Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night, which means getting into bed at least 8.5 hours before the alarm is set.
  • Don't eat / workout for 3 hours before going to sleep.
  • Protect sleep time! Just like refusing non-program foods while on the Whole30, now for 1 month make sure to get home at a certain time so as to get a solid night's sleep, even if that means leaving social or work events early.

What do you all think? I'd love to get some feedback & input.

The goal would be to reset sleeping habits, and then to slowly start making your own sleep decisions after 30 days, with knowledge of exactly how it affects your mood, physiology, and mental processes.

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I think it's a brilliant idea, Casey. I know sleep was one thing I really struggled with prior to W30. I'm lucky in that I don't have to get up at any particular time but I hated the way my bodyclock seemed to be out of kilter, I fell asleep later and later and would want to correspondingly sleep later and later until I could easily turn night into day. I now switch TV, laptop etc off at 9pm every night. I read and then go to sleep about 10.30 and I'm always awake before my alarm at 7am. I love it. I also take magnesium every night as well, I think that also helps. good luck with it.

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Great idea! You might also want to work on getting your room as dark as possible and using a sleep mask. Our bodies are sensitive to light, so keeping your eyes protected with a mask won't solve all problems, but I find it helps to add the mask because when I can't eliminate all light sources.

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I flippin' love sleep I do :wub:

I go to bed at 10pm, read till 10.30 (or before) and sleep till the central heating clicks on at 6.45am and the noise of that wakes me (more gently than an alarm ) My little girl usually comes in for snuggles at 7am = great way to start the day.

I have, since darkening up my room, become allergic to *any* light coming in. I honestly feel my head start hurting if someone leaves the door ajar and light from down the hall comes in. Looking fwd to going to Spain on hols because the house has shuuters on the windows and you can close them all the way so it's pitch black. Alas my parents snoring will balance this out! No earplugs can match that task!

Good luck on your Sleep30 Casey.

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Thanks everyone for the support and input!

I use a T-shirt as a sleep mask now to blot out the light from the room - have for a few years now, can't sleep without it : )

Anyways, I think waking up is just as important as falling asleep in establishing sleep patterns. Here are some additional guidelines I'm considering for the morning:

  • Set an alarm for the same time everyday - long enough after bedtime that ideally you'll be waking up without it by the end of the month
  • No technology for the first few hours after waking up - no mail, texting, phone calls, anything
  • Eat within an hour of waking up
  • Go outside for at least 20 minutes within 1-2 hours of waking up

I'm wondering now though, what are your thoughts on prioritizing sleep over socialization? They're both part of the 9 factors, and I have a feeling I'll have to sacrifice some social events to get home by 10pm on weekends.

My thoughts now are is it's probably worth it for a month just to get that baseline and reset the sleep habits, and I'll likely adapt and start socializing more during the day. Still, most people my age are out til midnight or later on weekdays and have crazy schedules on weekends :D

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Sleep was my last Whole30 goal and I loved it! One thing to watch out for- too much sleep is a real thing. I tried so hard to get good sleep that I would go to bed at 9/9:30am to wake up at 7am - always groggy and had a hard time waking up in the morning. When I whittled down to 8-8.5 hours, this is where the fantastic energy kicked in!

Hope you're having a great Sleep30!

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Thanks for the tip! I've actually heard that it's about how sleep cycles you get in as opposed to how long you sleep. A full REM cycle is 90-120 minutes (or so I heard), and if you wake up in the middle of one, you'll feel more tired even if you slept longer! That's why it's good to nap in 90-120 minute intervals - anything between 20 minutes & 90 minutes can leave you feeling worse than when you started.

Anyways, I had some major gastrointestinal issues due to some off-roading last weekend, but I've gotten my eating back on track and I've been slowly improving my sleep routines. I'm planning to start Sunday - will keep you posted.

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Okay, here are the rules I ended up with:

  • Start the bedtime process by 10pm everyday. If possible, start at 9:30pm. Be in bed by 10:30pm.
  • Wake up everyday at 6:30am.
  • No screens 1 hour before bed. The only exceptions are to answer a phone call or to set an alarm for the following day.
  • No naps.
  • Eat dinner at least 3-4 hours before bedtime. No snacks.
  • After waking up, go for a 15 minute walk (sunlight sets your biological clock). Then cook the meals for the day. No email / Internet until meals for the day are cooked.
  • Exercise in the morning or afternoon, not at night.
  • Only use my bed for sleeping - no reading or working there (the horizontal mambo is okay).
  • Take a magnesium pill once daily in the evening (250mg).
  • No caffeine or alcohol.

I'll also be eating mostly Whole30 compliant, but have at least one off-plan meal in the mix (going out with an old host family in 2 weeks).

Today was going to be the first day, but I didn't get up and walk first thing in the morning. Instead, I'll start tomorrow and use today as a practice day : )

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Due to a business call, gotta push this back a day. Darn you, international time differences...

May use the extra day to tweak one or two of the rules. Will keep everyone posted.

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