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Sorcha’s Sleep Challenge Diary

SpunOutter Sorcha Cusack took the sleep challenge - see how she got on!

Written by Sorcha Cusack | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health

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In general, I love my leaba. We’ve an excellent relationship and tend to spend a lot of time together, especially at the weekend. That said, like most students, I’m partial to the odd late night, especially now that it’s getting closer to exam time and I’ve loads of deadlines on the horizon.

When I heard that SpunOut were running a sleep campaign, I’ll admit that I was curious about it. I consider myself a good sleeper, but I’ve still been getting the mid-day slumps at college and by the time 10pm rolls around, I’m constantly shattered. With this in mind, I’ve decided to experiment with my bedtime routine for the next week, all in an attempt to rekindle my love with my leaba.

Day 1 

Tonight I’m starting off my sleep experiment, but I’m not entirely sure that I’ve gotten off to a good start. I’ve a big assignment due tomorrow and it’s already after midnight. Technically I’m in bed, I’m just very much switched on, frantically trying to get the last few hundred words written in this thing. I know I’m going to be wrecked tomorrow.

Day 2

Assignment handed in!! That was a relief. I still managed to get about six hours sleep, not too far off the normal routine, but I’m definitely feeling the effects of it today. I went for a run earlier and wasn’t up to my usual standard. Tonight’s plan is to cut all social media, laptops and phones out after 9:30ish. I promise I’ll vlog about it!

Day 3

Benefits of no social media? An excellent night’s sleep. It was probably helped by the fact that I was wrecked from the late night before, but regardless, I’m feeling great today. Downside? I slept in. I’d forgotten that my phone is the only alarm I use! Tonight’s experiment involves drinking lemon and green tea before bed. I’ve heard it helps, but something about drinking tea right before bed just sounds like a bad idea…

Day 4

Tea was a bad idea. It didn’t help at all. If anything, it just made me wake up a few hours into my sleep to use the bathroom. Maybe this works for some people, but because I’m not used to it, I think I’ll give it a skip in future. Tonight’s agenda involves a bit of pre-bed meditation! See my funky pink yoga mat in my vlog.

Day 5

Just after another great night's sleep. I think the meditation right before bed helped massively in winding down from the day and focusing on switching off. I googled some YouTube videos on mindfulness to help me relax and I fully recommend trying this. It helped having someone tell me what to think and how to breathe, and listening to calming music (as cheesy as I’m sure you’re imaging that to be) worked excellently. Luckily the videos are only about 10 mins long each too, so you don’t really have to set aside too much of the night to get some meditation in!

Day 6

I forgot to mention that last night’s experiment merely involved leaving my door ajar and leaving the light on in the hall. I’ve heard that having the right ‘sleeping environment’ leads to good sleeping patterns, so I wanted to switch mine up a bit. I also changed my sheets and duvet – nothing beats sleeping in fresh sheets! I found the door thing a bit odd, I kept expecting someone to walk in and that didn’t help at all. The light didn’t really bother me, but I can’t say that it did anything for me either. Oh and the sheets? Key. Best sleep of the week! Tonight I’m going to take it easy and go for a brief stroll before bedtime.

Day 7

The last night!! I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to try and do tonight, so I may just attempt to get a normal night’s sleep. I’ve my phone on night-time mode so it won’t buzz with notifications which I didn’t even know was a thing before this week! I’ve also finished a quick mindfulness video on YouTube and I feel fairly positive about getting a good night’s sleep ahead. I’m not sure how much I can really take from this week, but I’m glad to have picked up a few tips before exam week kicks in. No doubt I’ll need every bit of help I can get to avoid study insomnia!

Want to learn more about improving your sleep?

Check out these 10 great ways to improve your sleep.

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Published April 26th, 2015
Last updated July 28th, 2015
Tags sleep mental health healthy living
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