December 16, 2018

Wellness Challenge Week 3

This post is part of our #HealthyHolidays blog series, highlighting healthy ways to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season at home, school and work. View all posts in the series here.

Congratulations – you've made it halfway through the challenge! Now that we’re moving more and eating healthier, it's time to get some rest.  

Our focus for Week 3 is healthy sleep. 

Better sleep leads to better health. In fact, sleep is as important for our health as physical activity and healthy eating. It affects all areas of our well-being – from our diet and relationships to our mood and memory. Getting quality sleep each night can reduce our risk of disease, injury, anxiety, and depression while giving us the brain power and energy we need to feel our very best.  

This week, we’re practicing healthy sleep habits so that we can support our minds and bodies and feel more alert throughout the day. Get started by reviewing the 5 challenges below.   

If you’re just joining us, we invite you to add challenges from Week 1 and Week 2 to your list this week for an extra challenge.   


Week 3 Challenges 

Note: If you’re a first-time visitor to our site, you may need to log-in to access the linked resources. 


Challenge #1: Determine How Much Sleep You Need (1 pt) 

The American Academy of Sleep recommends adults sleep 7 or more hours each night for healthy sleep. Some adults may need more, while a small percentage may need less than 6 hours to feel their best. Determine your optimal number by tracking your hours and energy levels throughout the week in a sleep diary.  

Do you have children? Determine if your child is getting enough sleep and take steps to help them create a healthier bedtime routine this week, too.  


Challenge #2: Reduce Your Caffeine Consumption (2 pts) 

Caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea may provide a welcome boost to our morning routine, but their stimulating effects can impair our ability to get a restful night of sleep. Enjoy healthier sleep this week by reducing your caffeine intake. Try swapping your second cup of coffee or your afternoon energy drink for a healthy and hydrating caffeine-free option, like 100% juice or fruity water.  


Challenge #3: Eat a Healthy Bedtime Snack (3 pts) 

Feeling hungry before bed? Certain nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and protein, are known to support healthy sleep. Try eating a sleepy time snack 1-2 hours before bedtime as part of your wind down routine for a more restful night of sleep. 


Challenge #4: Power Off Your Electronic Devices (4 pts) 

The light and noise emitted from our TVs, phones, tablets, and gaming devices can disrupt our bodies' natural rhythms and make it difficult to fall—and stay—asleep. Enjoy healthier sleep this week by reducing your screen time and “unplugging” from all electronic devices 1-2 hours before bedtime. Instead, try a quiet wind down activity, like stretching, reading, or journaling, to calm your mind and prepare your body for sleep.  


Challenge #5: Go to Bed at the Same Time Every Night (5 pts) 

Bedtimes aren’t just for kids! Maintaining a consistent sleep routine can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep throughout the night, and wake up feeling more rested and refreshed. Using the number of hours identified in Challenge #1, determine your optimal bedtime and challenge yourself to go to sleep at this time every night this week. Discover resources to build a healthy bedtime routine in our Sleep Smarter. Perform Better. digital resource center.  


*Bonus Round* 

Earn extra points by completing one—or both—of the bonus challenges below: 


Bonus Challenge #1:

Continue practicing your physical activity and healthy eating habits by repeating a challenge from Week 1 and a challenge from Week 2 (2 pts)  


Bonus Challenge #2:

Share your favorite bedtime story, or post a photo of your healthy bedtime snack on social media this week with the hashtags #HGWellnessChallenge and #HealthyHolidays (3 pts) 


Total Points Possible for Week 3: 20 


Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtags #HGWellnessChallenge and #HealthyHolidays to connect with fellow Wellness Challenge participants and receive extra tips and resources all month long!