YouBeauty Reader: Brittany Dunlop, 26
Original Sleep Score: 14 (6-21 means your sleep has room for improvement)
21 is the worst score, so when I first saw my score of 14 I thought it wasn't terrible.
But then I saw my graph.
Habitual Sleep Efficiency [pattern of going to sleep and waking up] is the only thing I scored "good" on—everything else needed work. My biggest areas of concern were Sleep Latency [how long it takes to fall asleep] and Daytime Disfunction [how sleep affects daytime activities].
I can't say I was shocked that I scored so poorly on Daytime Disfunction—I am on my feet all day and it was not uncommon for me to literally fall asleep while I was standing. I was also lethargic during the day and when my alarm went off in the morning I basically needed a crane to haul me out of bed.
While I had plenty of issues to work on, I blamed my poor Sleep Latency for basically all the other problems. I thought that if I could just get that under control, then I wouldn't be falling asleep while standing and I might feel better during the day.
For these reasons, I prioritized working on my Sleep Latency, and I followed my action steps.
The action steps told me to give my brain a break right before bed—no frantic emails or chores—and to make my room a sleep sanctuary. I made a sleep schedule and now I do whatever I can to stick with it.
I stopped watching TV in bed, and now when I hit the sack I dim the lights and read in bed. I also put my phone on silent for the hour before I go to bed.
Thanks to my action steps, I realized that my room was too warm (over 67 degrees), and it was likely disturbing my sleep. I installed a new air conditioner in my bedroom window, which keeps the temperature cool in the summer. 67 degrees is a bit too cold for me, but even a few degrees warmer than that is cooler than what I used to have.
I'm also a huge fan of napping. Naps have dramatically helped my Daytime Disfunction. I take 10 minute naps wherever I can. My job requires me to run all over the city, so now I will drop by home for a quick nap if I am in the area. I've even been known to curl up in a closet at the office! I put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door so people don't come in. It sounds crazy, but it's worth it. The naps make me feel refreshed.
My graph indicated that dogs in the bed can disturb your sleep, but that's one step I won't follow. My dachshund Chili sleeps in the bed with me every night, but he doesn't bother me. (If he took the quiz I think he would get a perfect score.) I won't kick him out!
After following my action steps for about two months, I can honestly say that my sleep is so much better, and it has made a huge difference in the way I feel and how I look. My eyes aren't as puffy!
I took the quiz again after following my action steps and...
New Sleep Score: 5
I'm now a good sleeper! Five is right on the cusp between good and poor, but I'll take it. I am going to keep working on my actions steps so that I never slip back into the sleep danger zone again. Thanks, YouBeauty!
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