During Round 6 of the 6 Week Sleep Challenge, we invited selected participants to be share their Sleep Challenge journey’s. Throughout the Challenge we asked the 6 Sleepy Friends to keep sleep journals, and in return they received personalised sleep coaching from Dr. Carmel.
Midway through the Challenge, we caught up with Dr. Carmel for updates on their progress, and it was great to hear how small changes had made big improvements in just a few weeks.
According to Dr. Carmel, it’s not uncommon for patients to be sceptical of what a difference small tweaks to our daily habits can have on our quality of sleep. Our focus group participants have been no exception, with many of them commenting how surprised they are with the improvements they feel from making just small changes to their daily lives.
“What really makes the difference for people when trying to improve their quality of sleep is keeping a sleep journal,” says Dr. Carmel. Making an effort to note and track the habits that surround your sleep (morning and night) on a daily basis is a simple and very fast way of highlighting which of our habits have an impact on our sleep. Dr. Carmel explains that, “you can’t change sleep overnight”. It’s a matter of habit. Keeping track of your habits and then ditching the bad ones, one by one is the key to improving your sleep.
It’s also important to start new good habits. One recommendation that has made a significant improvement for our focus group participants says Dr. Carmel, is to start preparing for sleep one hour before bed. Establishing the habit of a consistent bedtime ritual preps and conditions your body and mind to know when it is time for sleep. “We can’t just turn off the computer, get straight into bed and expect our brains to go straight to sleep,”says Dr. Carmel. “We need time to wind down and switch off, so that by the time we get to bed our brains are ready for sleep.”
The importance of this wind down time is reiterated in the sleep journals of our focus group participants, with a clear relationship emerging between what they do in the hour before bed and how long it took them to get to sleep.
Through the gradual implementation of good habits and consistent routines over the last three weeks, our focus group participants have more than halved the average amount of time it takes them to get to sleep each night. One participant who averaged 102 minutes to get to sleep each night in week one had an average of 45 minutes to get to sleep in week three – a vast improvement.
It has also emerged that the nights when television is watched in the hour before bed are the nights that it takes participants to get to sleep.
Are you ready to see how small changes to your life could improve your sleep quality? Join the 6 Week Sleep Challenge today!

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