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 Krystal’s evening 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”? Are you a better sleeper now?
I wasn’t a very good sleeper. After this challenge, I’ve seen improvements to my sleeping habits.
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 definitely did not know about the caffeine and the medications! I was also surprised that popcorn and cinnamon help you sleep better.
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?
I found it harder to avoid the electronics before bed than I did with cutting out caffeine.
What was the easiest part about the challenge for you?
Making the snack and sticking to a nighttime routine. I’ve been getting up earlier now due to renewed energy!
Did you feel that your sleep improved throughout the challenge? Did your partner’s sleep change, or that of your family?
My husband works nights, so he wasn’t asleep, but I felt like my sleep improved.
Did you notice any overall health changes, such as increased energy, better skin, or decreased cravings?
Before participating in this event, did you ever consider the impact that foods might have on your sleep?
I knew about caffeine keeping you up later in the night, but I hadn’t really thought about the impact other foods might make.
Did you make any changes to your usual recipe process when accommodating ingredients that support sleep health? If so, what was the hardest part?
I love to snack on popcorn before bed while watching movies, so I added cinnamon since I saw that it was helpful for better sleep. I figured that since I was already enjoying this snack that I might as well spice it up!
How do you usual eating habits match up with healthy sleep habits? If you took the challenge, did you change your eating habits at all?
I tried to not snack throughout the evening, and limited myself to just the one snack before bedtime.
Did any of the ingredients surprise you? If so, which ones and why?
The cinnamon surprised me. I didn’t know it promoted healthy sleeping!
Krystal also sent us a recipe for a yummy evening snack, featuring her favorite sleep-friendly ingredient: cinnamon.
Spiced Cinnamon Popcorn
Prepare popcorn according to package instructions. Sprinkle cinnamon on top with a teaspoon of olive oil. Toss to coat. Stir in chocolate to melt if you desire. Serve immediately.