Each month, the National Sleep Foundation is partnering with select bloggers and digital influencers for a new iteration of the #GoodNights challenge. We’ll explore new ways to get a good night’s rest by showcasing real life examples of how a good night’s sleep can positively impact your body, mind and spirit. We know that many of our readers want real life tips for sleeping better, so follow along and share your own #GoodNights stories by using hashtag across social media channels like Twitter and Instagram.
July’s Sleep Challenge
The National Sleep Foundation challenged food bloggers to utilize sleep-friendly ingredients in a recipe of their choosing – be it a get-you-started breakfast, a perk-me-up midday snack or a sweet treat to help you drift off to dreamland. We also asked the bloggers—many of whom boast full-time jobs in addition to their blogging duties—to make sure they were taking time to prioritize their sleep by participating in the #GoodNights challenge, where they’d follow our healthy sleep tips for at least a week to see how sleeping well impacted everything from their eating habits to their nighttime routine.
Below, find Brittany’s recipe, as well as her thoughts on how sleep impacts her day to day life.
Describe your sleeping habits, both before and after taking the #GoodNights challenge. Would you say you are/were a “good sleeper”?
I am a terrible sleeper!
Are you a better sleeper now?
I am getting better, the more I practice the #GoodNights sleep tips!
Were you surprised to learn any of these facts about sleep health – for example, that caffeine says in your system longer if you are taking certain medications?
I was shocked to find out how long caffeine stays in your system and it probably is the number 1 reason why I am a terrible sleeper
Did you have any problems with the challenge? For example, did you find it tough to avoid electronics before bed, or did you have trouble cutting out caffeine in the afternoons?
The hardest part was omitting caffeine from my diet in the afternoon. I heavily rely on coffee throughout the day especially with having two young daughters and that has been hard for me to quit, but I notice the difference when I do.
What was the easiest part about the challenge for you?
Sticking to a regular bed time was easy for me as I like to go to bed early and stick to it every night.
Did you feel that your sleep improved throughout the challenge? Did your partner’s sleep change, or that of your family?
The rest of my family sleeps really good so this challenge was mainly for me. I have noticed a huge difference when I stick with the tips. Shutting down technology at bed time also really helped me.
Did you notice any overall health changes, such as increased energy, better skin, or decreased cravings?
I noticed how much more energy I have and my mood is just happier the better I sleep.
Before participating in this event, did you ever consider the impact that foods might have on your sleep?
I never considered how food might affect my sleep.
Did you make any changes to your usual recipe process when accommodating ingredients that support sleep health? If so, what was the hardest part?
My family and I eat very healthy regularly so I was encouraged to see we were doing something right.
How do your usual eating habits match up with healthy sleep habits? If you took the challenge, did you change your eating habits at all?
I was reminded how important it is to eat a healthy lunch and include lots of the ingredients suggested to help me stay away from coffee during that afternoon slump!
Did any of the ingredients surprise you? If so, which ones and why?
I was surprised that food would go hand in hand with how well we sleep but once I saw the ingredient list I was reminded that what we put in our bodies is so important for every part of our day so why wouldn’t healthy ingredients help you sleep better!
Brittany also sent us a smoothie recipe to help you beat that afternoon slump. Looks like her two toddlers loved it!
Perk Me Up Smoothie
I always make sure to start with the liquids in my smoothie, so first things first add your coconut milk to your blender. It helps everything blend better when they are added first.
Next toss in all your other ingredients and blend. I served this to my two toddlers so to help make the green smoothie more fun I sprinkled it with coconut shavings and a few chocolate chips. It was so tasty and kept me going in the afternoon when I would usually reach for a cup of coffee, this gave me even more energy and tastes so much better!