Can’t Sleep? Here’s What We Learned During Our Month long Sleep Challenge!
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We’re sleeping quarantine away… 😴
After all that organizing we did for our team challenge last month, we were so ready for some good sleep. After a month-long journey, we’re sharing all our tips & tricks, funny stories, and even some of our favorite products for a more restful night’s sleep.
According to The National Sleep Foundation, adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep, but come to find out, a lot of us at Hip2Save don’t even get that great of sleep! So starting this team challenge, although it seemed absolutely dreamy, was actually…a bit challenging. 😦
What can happen without good sleep?
Without good sleep, people experience an abundance of negative qualities such as irritability, cognitive impairment, memory lapses, impaired moral judgment, decreased creativity, increased stress and heart rate, appetite changes, and even digestive issues.
Who wants to deal with any of that?!
Take this fun and quick quiz to see if you’re a morning person or night owl.
Here’s what our team said about their sleep schedules at the beginning of the month. Can you relate to one (or more) of us?
“I have never been a sleeper. I told my mom when I was a kid that I was afraid I’d miss something during the day if I slept- and it’s still true! For me, 5-6 hours is plenty enough and my kids make sure of it since there’s 3 under 3!” – Chelsey
“I’m a night owl… like a let’s-rearrange-all-the-furniture-in-the-house-at-2am kind of night owl. My kids are also older and don’t settle down until late at night, so I have to wait for them to stop all their jacking around so I can have some peace and quiet.” – Cass
“I’m a night owl. I usually get 6 hours of sleep and I’m fine with that. Luckily, I never have problems falling asleep. I dream of going to bed early but I just can’t with 3 kids up late. I’ve learned to deal with it though and just pipe coffee through my veins.” – Michelle
“I make sure to get about 8 hours of sleep a night – doesn’t always happen but, for the most part, if that means I’m in bed by 8:30 or 9 PM when my kids hit the hay, then I follow suit. I’ve never been one to function without a good chunk of sleep.” – Sara
“I feel like I get too little and too much sleep at the same time. I’m a worrier by nature and this can cause insomnia and oversleeping when I feel overwhelmed. I try to get to bed at the same time every night but I never know if I will fall right asleep for good or be up until 3 AM – it’s a gamble!” – Jessica
“Nighttime is usually the time my brain decides it’s a great time to worry about everything, so I’ve been trying to find new ways to get that to stop! Getting 7-8 hours is so important to me and when I don’t get enough sleep I’m physically sick the whole next day with such bad nausea, so that usually means trying to climb into bed while the sun is still out.” – Erika
“Perimenopause has ruined my sleep and I need more than ever now. I used to be a morning person that would get up at 4:30 AM and run and feel energized and could stay up all day like the Energizer Bunny. I used to only need about 6 hours of sleep, but now I need about 9. I can barely drag myself out of bed by 8:30 AM these days – it was getting so bad that my high schooler was late to school every day… because of me!😩” – Jennifer
“I’m premenopausal and can’t get enough sleep. I go to bed no later than 10:30 and get up at 6 AM. But I wake up every night now between 2 AM and 3 AM and stay awake for hours. When we are not in pandemic mode, I work 3 jobs so I need the energy.” – Angie
“I’m usually a 10:30 PM – 6:30 AM person. I used to sleep in longer but have lower back issues and that’s what usually wakes me up. Now, during quarantine, I wake up about 3-4 AM, and missing those hours has been rough. Finally last weekend I passed out on the couch for like 2 hours to nap which I never do. Crazy times!” – Lina
“I’ve noticed over the last year or so that I have been struggling with getting enough sleep. I usually try to get 7 hours a night but I usually only get 5. Plus, I have been taking more naps lately which are awesome, but at the same time they throw off my sleep pattern for days. It’s become an endless cycle. Thank goodness for coffee!” – Rachel
“I’m a night owl and have been most of my life. Prior to the coronavirus entering our lives, I was getting around 4-5 hours of sleep per night. Now that I don’t have to get up to get my daughter ready for the bus and we can sleep in a bit, I’m getting more like 6-7 hours. Once I’m asleep, I’m asleep. It’s the transition before bed that’s hardest for me because my brain does not shut off well, so I end up scrolling my phone for an hour.” – Liza
“I’m lucky if I get 6 hours of sleep per night. I would prefer 7 but since I get up at 4:30 AM every weekday, that would require me to go to bed at 9:30 PM which is pretty impossible with 3 teens in the house. My other issue is that ever since we have been quarantined, I have no desire to read before bed, and instead, I have been binging mindless Netflix series and I find myself getting hooking and staying up until 10:30 PM or later.” – Bryn
“I’ve got 3 teenagers who love to be oh so loud at night, a hubby who requires way too much sleep, and then there’s me – someone who is basically both a night owl and a morning person! It’s bad! I typically watch brainless reality TV at night and should totally turn it off, but don’t, and then still get up at 5 AM. I do tend to feel most productive in the mornings, though.” – Collin
“From working in the casino overnight, my sleep got ruined and realistically, I can function on as little as 2 hours. Clearly that is not ideal, but I always laugh at myself on the days I get 2-4 hours how I have more energy than 6-8 hour days.” – Alana
“Please, no one come for me. LOL! I probably get around 8-9 hours if I’m being responsible. I go to bed at my usual 10 PM and I’m asleep until 6-7 AM. I should also mention I have no kids or pets which is 100% what makes getting almost 9 hours of sleep possible.” – Emily
Over the last month, we’ve learned some pretty great tips and life-changing products that helped us get better sleep. Here are our favorites:
1. Lina shared a new pair of comfy pajamas that she loves.
A great pair of pajamas to cozy up in bed can really make a difference in how you sleep and Lina found an amazingly comfortable pair that come in long sleeve or short sleeve so they can suit everyone’s temperature needs.
“I’m super impressed with the quality of this fabric. They’re so smooth, breathable, and comfortable to sleep in. In fact, they feel very cooling on your body, so they’re perfect even for hot sleepers! I enjoyed these jammies so much I bought a second pair to mix and match!” – Lina
Read Lina’s full review on these pajamas here!
2. Erica kicked a bad habit and we all learned from it, too!
“Either you run the day, or the day runs you!” This is how Erica and a lot of us at Hip2Save were starting our day… by hitting the snooze button. If you didn’t already know, hitting snooze is doing you a huge disservice! In fact, hitting snooze makes you feel drowsier, decreases productivity, reduces sleep quality, can become a vicious cycle, and you may have weirder dreams.
After reading the 5 Second Rule, Erica seriously changed her outlook on life and created a much better sleeping habit. Here’s what she said about it:
“I’ve never had a more positive outlook on the day! And, I learned something about myself… I’m a morning person! I absolutely LOVE the mornings now. In fact, I now often wake up at 4 am, workout, and can be at work by 6:30 am – with only ONE alarm that goes off that morning. And that is HUGE for me! 🙌”
3. We discovered a quicker way to fall asleep.
According to sleep.org, wearing socks to bed can make you fall asleep 15 minutes faster. In fact, research has shown that the more vasodilation you have in your hands and feet, the less time it takes to fall asleep.
4. We also learned new breathing techniques.
If practiced regularly, the 4-7-8 breathi ng technique developed by Dr. Andrew Weil could also help people fall asleep more quickly.
- First, let your lips part. Make a whooshing sound, exhaling completely through your mouth.
- Next, close your lips, inhaling silently through your nose as you count to four in your head.
- Then, for seven seconds, hold your breath.
- Make another whooshing exhale from your mouth for eight seconds.
When you inhale again, you initiate a new cycle of breath. Practice this pattern for four full breaths.
Breathing techniques are designed to bring the body into a state of deep relaxation so if you go to bed with lots of anxiety, this could also help you fall asleep at night! Keep in mind that if you’ve never done this before, mindful breathing takes practice and consistency to be successful.
“I swear the breathing technique has worked wonders for me!!! I seriously LOVE it!!!” – Angie
5. Collin discovered some amazing new sheets.
Whether you think you need a top sheet or not, some great sheets on your bed can determine your level of comfort and how easily you’ll stay asleep. A lot of our team members are obsessed with these sheets from Amazon, whereas Collin discovered some she’s now lovin’ on a recent trip she took with her sister.
“I took my sister to a spa in Arizona for a girl’s getaway trip in January and the place we stayed in had the most amazing sheets ever!!! We were both so obsessed because they were so cozy, fluffy, and soft. You literally feel like you’re sleeping in a cloud. We asked the hotel where we could buy them and the brand, then I immediately hopped online to grab some. The prices were actually pretty reasonable compared to what I thought they’d be.” – Collin
Buy Collin’s favorite 400 Thread Count Cuddledown Sheets here!
6. Clean sheets matter, too.
In a recent study by The National Sleep Foundation, more than 75% of people said that they are more excited to go to bed with fresh sheets and roughly three-quarters of people say they get a more comfortable night’s sleep on sheets with a fresh scent.
7. We also learned the importance of the right pillow.
Having the wrong pillow can cause headaches, neck pain, shoulder, and arm numbness among other things. In fact, using the incorrect pillow will also exacerbate any underlying problems you may already have. According to WebMD, depending on the way you sleep will determine the type of pillow you need:
- Back sleepers need a thinner pillow.
- Side sleepers need firmer pillows.
- Stomach sleepers need a very thin and almost flat pillow.
Additionally, you should be using a new pillow every 12 to 18 months, so if your pillow is long past this due date, it’s currently housing tons of skin cells, mold, mildew, fungus, and more. Yuck!
Hip Tip: To improve your pillow game, even more, we discovered how awesome these pillow protectors are to extend the life of your favorite pillow and that silk pillowcases seriously do help improve your skin and hair! 😍
8. We learned to nap the correct way.
We found that a lot of Hip sidekicks were falling in the trap with naps. If you’re also waking up from naps feeling groggy, that’s because there’s a right way and a wrong way to nap.
According to sleep.org, 20 minutes is the ideal time to nap. When you sleep any longer than that, your brain goes into REM sleep which is a deeper slumber that ultimately slows down your brain waves causing you to feel groggy. A quick 20-minute catnap will give you greater benefits of sleep like improved alertness, enhanced performance, and a better mood. So nap, on friends!
9. We fell in love with weighted blankets.
A weighted blanket is a calming tool providing pressure and sensory input for individuals with autism and sleep disorders, but it also works to provide comfort for anxiety and stress. The pressure of the blanket provides proprioceptive input (sensations from joints, muscles, and connective tissues that underlie body awareness) to the brain and releases a hormone called serotonin which is a calming chemical in the body.
These blankets essentially make you feel as if you’re being held or hugged by somebody when you sleep.
“Every single person in our house has one and I sleep SO SO good with it. I never considered them before because I’m not a super anxious person and thought that’s who they were for, but I swear I don’t move all night. I have never had problems with it in the wash either, which was a concern for me. We all have 20-pound blankets and queen size because I like it to fall to the sides of me.” – Michelle
“I am a little obsessed with my weighted blanket! My whole family has them on their beds and we love them. I have a 20 pounder on my bed with a sheet below it and above it that we cover with at night and then a 15 pounder that is folded and towards the bottom of the bed so my feet can’t stick out of the bottom.” – Erica
10. We stopped using our phones!
Almost our entire Hip2Save team is guilty of using their phones before bed and more often than not, it also keeps us up longer than we’d like to be. Did you know that it’s a horrible habit to have?
By looking at your phone before bed, your brain is more engaged which does not contribute to falling asleep easily. The blue light from your phone screen also suppresses your melatonin which is your body’s natural hormone that makes you feel tired. Lastly, reading something right before bed that triggers your alertness (whether positive or negative) will ultimately prolong your ability to fall asleep more quickly.
“I used to be so addicted to my phone especially right before bed, but it was seriously affecting my sleep schedule so I made a point to stop. I normally just leave it on the dresser across the room or even in the kitchen and I sleep so much better because of it now.” – Sara
11. And Collin shared how to hide those black circles for when sleep just didn’t happen.
With all these great sleep tips and tricks, we don’t want to fool anyone over here because there are definitely nights that we don’t get great sleep regardless of what we do, wear, or try… because #lifehappens.
That’s where concealer comes in and it wins every time for those mornings you need to look put together but don’t feel put together. 🙌 Collin covers up her under eyes using an inexpensive Maybelline concealer and then she also loves going over her concealer with her fave BB cream – Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream. We’ve also shared other popular concealers that our team loves – some are even under $10!
But why don’t we sleep good sometimes?
Well, one reason is because some of us have the pleasure of sleeping with sleep talkers and snorers. Here are some funny stories from our team:
“My daughter Ava sleep talks ALL THE TIME. Recently I was woken up by ‘Catch the candies, hurry!’ with arms grasping for some invisible candy in the air.
“And as for my husband, he sleeps on his back, mouth wide open, snoring loud enough for the neighbors to hear. I usually just do the classic turn his head to the side move. LOL!” – Taylor
“My hubby and my daughter both talk in their sleep. I remember her laughing while she was sleeping behind me not that long ago and my hubby full-on WOOHOO-ed once. Not sure what that was about. Weirdos.” – Cass
“My daughter sleep-shouts! She yells in her sleep and it scares me every single time.” – Jenna
“My husband snores so I sleep on my side, facing away from him with an earplug in the ear that’s not on the pillow. I just use cheap Dollar Tree earplugs and I usually have one under my pillow so that I can easily grab it if he gets loud in the middle of the night.” – Amber
Overall, our biggest takeaway from this month-long journey was that we basically need a mega bed like Chelsey to solve all our problems. 🙌 😴
“My husband and I sleep in the same room but technically we have different beds, he calls it the ‘mega bed’. It’s two queen beds together and we have different mattresses, but the same bedding. So other than it being a huge bed, you can’t tell it’s two separate ones. I prefer a pillow top mattress and he prefers a firm so it works well without spending money on those beds that you can adjust. Plus, we can both stretch out as much as we want – sleep is amazing now!” – Chelsey
Wow, Chelsey! Our team is seriously impressed and we all know what we’ll be putting on our Christmas lists this year. 😏
…Until next month, Hip2Save readers!
Psst… Did you catch our other monthly team challenges so far?
- In January, we did a water drinking challenge
- In February, we struggled to not eat out (geez…that would have been much easier to do in March if we knew all of these restaurants would be closing.) 🤦♀️
- In March, we organized for an entire month – did you see what our houses look like now?! (Plus, we even created a FREE declutter challenge just for YOU!) 😍