Tech-Free Sleep: The 5 Day Challenge


With the turn of the new season, I really tried to focus on improving the quality of my sleep. I reached a breaking point in March, and that was when I realized how badly I was struggling to wake up in the morning. I’ve always been a light sleeper, but usually I can wake up and take on my day with no problems. Lately, this has not been the case. If I’m being completely honest, I was starting to get fed up. 

The plan was simple. Cut off all technology before sleeping for 5 days during the workweek & observe how I felt the next day. I wasn’t worried about putting away my phone at night, but I’ve spent years falling asleep watching shows on my laptop...I knew this wouldn’t be easy. 

Ready for the results? Here we go. 

Day 1, Sunday Night:

Tech Cut-Off Time: 10:30pm

How much sleep did I get? Less than four hours, fell asleep at around 2:30am. 

How did I feel the next day? I was alright in the morning, but Monday was a very long day. I was heavily relying on coffee to get me through work and my evening class.

Day 2, Monday Night:

Tech Cut-Off Time: 10:30pm

How much sleep did I get? Three hours this time, I was tossing and turning until 3:15am.

How did I feel the next day? Surprisingly, Tuesday wasn’t much of a struggle for me. I only hit snooze once, and still had enough energy to exercise after work.

Day 3, Tuesday night

Tech Cut-Off Time: 10:30pm

How much sleep did I get? Another night of four hours of sleep. I was hoping that because I exercised in the evening I’d fall asleep quickly, but my mind was still racing even though my body was tired.

How did I feel the next day? Wednesday was when it finally hit me. I was able to wake up early, but I was extremely sleepy during my workday. I immediately let myself take a nap at around 6:00pm and was sleeping on and off for most of the evening.

Day 4, Wednesday night

Tech Cut-Off Time: 10:00pm, I decided to be a bit more aggressive for the last two nights of this challenge.

How much sleep did I get? Six hours, FINALLY! This might seem like a victory, but there is something I should mention about the quality of sleep I got Wednesday night. Even though I turned off all my technology by 10pm, I still fell asleep immediately after watching a show on my laptop. I thought I’d feel refreshed after managing to sleep for six hours, but no such luck. 

How did I feel the next day? Thursday morning was especially rough. I hit snooze on my alarm twice, and barely felt awake as I struggled to get myself ready for work. I hit a wall as soon as I got home, and had to take a nap for about 30 minutes. In a shocking turn of events, I woke up from that nap feeling great and went to the gym for another evening workout. 

Day 5, Thursday night

Tech Cut-Off Time: 10:00pm

How much sleep did I get? 4-5 hours, I’m not exactly sure because I was constantly waking up in the middle of the night

How did I feel the next day? I struggled again on Friday morning. I went back to sleep after my alarm went off and was rushing to get myself out the door. Oddly enough, I wasn’t sleepy at all during the workday. My mid-morning coffee did its job and my energy remained stable for the rest of the day.

I have conflicting feelings after this 5-day sleep challenge. I think that it’ll take my body longer than 5 days to fully feel any benefits. Honestly, I think emotional strain is keeping my mind racing even though my body is physically tired. Hopefully I can find an evening/morning routine that works for me. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear from you!

Stay healthy, stay happy,