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Day 11: Sleep for Eight Hours #30DaysofGOOD

For October's challenge, we're asking you to get healthy, from your feet to your teeth to your brain.

Welcome to The GOOD 30-Day Challenge (#30DaysofGOOD). Each month, we challenge our community members to do something that will improve the world around us—and our own lives. The challenge for October? To get healthy. In an effort to help us all rise to the occasion, we're going to assign one small task every day. Each morning, we will post the challenge on and Twitter, along with a testimonial from someone on the GOOD team who's already completed it. We invite you to complete all 30 mini-challenges with us! Today, we challenge you to:

Sleep for eight hours.

Let’s get the angst-ridden confession out of the way: I completely failed at sleeping for eight hours.

I get up before 5 a.m. every day—even on the weekends—so to successfully complete this challenge, I would have had to be asleep by 9 p.m. Except, like in the book-turned-recent film, I Don’t Know How She Does It, “it” all gets done after my two sons go to bed, usually around 9:30 p.m. I’m rarely asleep before 1 a.m.

To be fair, I can’t really blame my kids for my four-hours-or-less habit: The larger problem is that I’ve had a tough time sleeping since I was a teenager. Even my Twitter bio includes the word “insomniac”.

So, determined to get in eight hours, I did plenty of sleep-inducing stuff: I took a warm bath, meditated, told my family not to bother me unless someone was dying or the house was on fire, and sprinkled lavender on my pillow. Best of all, my internet went down, so I couldn’t distract myself.

After 40 minutes of studying the shadowy outlines of the furniture in my dark bedroom and repeating “you are getting sleepy” in my head in my best Bela Lugosi as Dracula voice, I gave up. I got up and headed to the kitchen to wash dishes.

Sometimes I feel exhausted and I complain about my sleep issues. Over the years, doctors have suggested sleep aids, but I worry about side effects and addiction. One mentioned electroshock therapy, which I politely declined. Friends have offered up a variety of folk remedies. The latest is that I should drink “Persian Pepsi”—a mixture of white yogurt, salt, dry mint, and water. My friend Vivian says it “works like a charm.”

What’s made it easy for me to pass on much of this advice is that I’m pretty functional with only four hours of sleep. But because I know it’s healthier for me to sleep more, I’ll keep aiming for that eight hours ideal. Maybe one night I’ll get there.

-Liz Dwyer


Ready, set, go! Good luck completing today's challenge. Share your experience on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook by using the hashtag #30DaysofGOOD, or let us know how it went in the comments section below.

Tomorrow's challenge: Floss.

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