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How I Trained My Body to Sleep on Command

Sleep training is defined as, “the process of training young children to fall asleep on their own, typically by means of techniques in which the child is left to cry without being comforted, either for gradually increasing periods of time or until they fall asleep,” according to Oxford dictionaries.

I decided this week to attempt my own version of what I call “adult sleep training.” The idea of adult sleep training isn’t new, but I went ahead and set my own rules for it. My plan was to attempt to go to sleep every night, without any devices, before midnight for a week to see if this changed how I felt or slept, as well as helped me wake up earlier naturally. I specifically wanted to go to sleep before midnight without falling asleep on my laptop or phone.

Essentially, I wanted to turn my lights off, tuck myself into bed and just close my eyes before midnight to fall asleep on my own. This idea is similar to sleep training your kids. Just as parents are to leave crying children to soothe themselves back to sleep, I would need to learn how to fall asleep without any technology our outside help. On a side note, I just started watching The Office, on Netflix, so let’s see how this goes…

Night 1:

I fell asleep watching Netflix around 1 a.m.… not off to a great start…

Night 2:

Well, it was basically the weekend, so I wasn’t even thinking about bed until about midnight. I would say I fell asleep a little before 1 a.m.

Night 3:

I got caught up doing work, and by the time I saw the time it was after midnight. I, again, fell asleep around 1 a.m.

Night 4:

I was distracted by work again, and fell asleep around 12:30 a.m.

Night 5:

I fell asleep to Netflix around 1 a.m. 

Night 6:

I actually put away my computer before falling asleep, but somehow went on my phone and fell asleep using that — so close!

Night 7:

I’m very proud to say that I actually put away my computer and my phone and went to bed 10 ‘till midnight. I woke up naturally at around 8:30 a.m.

Because of this final night, I would like to continue my training for another week. They say it takes 21 days before something becomes a habit, so I want to continue working on this to see how I feel after that. I think that this week was a warm-up week, a way to get used to the idea. I used to go to bed around 2 a.m., so this was definitely an improvement. Just as parents sleep training a child doesn’t happen successfully occur in one week, and must happen progressively, I also think that’s how my body will learn and adjust. Feel free to try this idea out for yourself, and let us know on either our Facebook or Instagram how you felt afterwards.

Maxine Grossman is a second-year Public Relations major with a concentration in business at the University of Florida and is so excited for the opportunity to do what she does best for Her Campus UFL: write about fashion. When Maxine is not staring at Pinterest fashion boards or wandering around shopping, she can be caught eating sushi, devouring cups of coffee and tea, or munching on some delicious macarons. Besides writing for Her Campus UFL, Maxine is also an active member of UF’s Panhellenic life and enjoys spending time with friends, traveling, and painting.
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