If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, you’re not alone. Quality sleep doesn’t just feel good, it’s good for you too. In fact, it’s just as vital as eating a balanced diet and drinking enough water. If you’re looking for better sleep, the secret often lies in what you’re doing before you even hit the sheets.

Day 1

Why sleep does a body good
Start a sleep journal to track your sleep habits. You can use a notebook or opt for a sleep app or fitness tracker. Regardless of the method you choose, make sure to include when you go to bed and when you wake up. You can add anything else you’d like to track, like how long it takes you to fall asleep, how often you wake up during the night, and how you feel when you wake up. As you continue through the challenge, your journal can help you keep track of what works best for you.

Day 2

Get more light during the day
If you're trying to wake up earlier, open your curtains and expose yourself to light when you first wake up and throughout the day. Avoiding blue lights at night can help speed up the rhythm to help you get to sleep earlier. If you're trying to sleep in, avoid light in the morning with blackout curtains. Getting more light at night, like through an after dinner walk, can help push your bedtime back.

Day 4

Is counting sheep not cutting it?
If your brain is consumed with thoughts of work deadlines or other stresses, start with a breathing exercise. This can help clear your mind plus slow your breathing and heart rate down. If you’re still restless after 20 minutes, get out of bed and read a book (preferably one that isn’t on a screen). After 30 minutes of reading, go back to bed and try again.

Day 8

Mind your beverages
Have one less caffeinated or alcoholic beverage. Write down how this affects your sleep in your journal. Pay attention to how your body feels during the day. Getting better rest pays off, which can eliminate your need for a midafternoon or early evening pick-me-up.

Day 9

Change up your evenings
Mix up how you spend your free time in the evenings. Stop using screens an hour before you go to bed. Instead of scrolling through Instagram, try reading a book (not digital!), or embrace your inner child and draw or color.

Day 10

Add a workout to your day
Pick a 30 minute window in the daytime (here's a chance to get some sun!). Exercises like lunges, pushups, and squats are great core exercises and easy to incorporate into your day. If you want to add some aerobic exercise into your routine, try jumping rope or burpees.

Day 12

Stay out of your bed
If you love to read in bed, set up another relaxing spot in your home. Maybe you choose your favorite chair and pair it with a comfy blanket, and this becomes your go-to spot for reading or meditating. If working in bed is your guilty pleasure, add some relaxing touches to your at-home workstation, like fresh flowers or an aromatherapy diffuser, to make it feel cozier.