The Read To Sleep Challenge

One thing I am pretty good at is making sure everyone else around me is o.k. The image of the woman who balances all the plates on poles is pretty much my life. 

I was recently described as a 'Renaissance Woman' which I obviously took as a compliment. But really i'm just a girl who thrives on being busy and keeping my mind busy. The result of this sometimes means putting myself to the bottom of my priorities and not recognising when I am not OK. 

We all know what it’s like to feel stressed - and I believe that in this day and age that being under pressure is a normal part of life.

Becoming overwhelmed by stress however can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse.

Lets take a moment to think about YOUR own well-being. What makes you feel stressed, do you spend much time de-stressing, relaxing your mind and body?

The Challenge:

The read to sleep week idea came about after I read an article, stating that a 2009 study from researchers at The University of Sussex showed that six minutes of reading reduces stress by 68% (more relaxing than either music or a cup of tea), thus clearing the mind and readying the body for sleep. That is amazing!

How many of us sit and look at our phones in bed before we go to sleep - I know for me its the last thing I do and such a bad habit - flicking from facebook, back to instagram, watching stories or maybe quickly checking my emails, but not reading anything just scanning. I sometimes even have weird dreams about the last person I looked at on social media? 

This challenge requires each participant to read for 6 minutes or more each night before they go to sleep. It doesn't have to be a fiction book (or a book date from The Book Matchmaker), it can be a kindle, newspaper, magazine, non fiction book or anything that causes you to sit back, relax and just read, preferably not your phone (unless you turn off notifications). 

Not only will this challenge help reduce your stress levels and enable you to sleep better,  but also for some of you it may hopefully bring back a love of reading again. 

If you are looking for more information the wonderful charity MIND explains what stress is, what might cause it and how it can affect you. They have articles that include information about other ways you can help yourself and how to get support. 

We started this challenge in April for a week to help the Mind Charity promote their stress awareness month. We had lots of people join in and loved hearing about how much it helped you.

Because of the success we want to do it all over again - but this time we want to try and spread the news as wide as possible. 

Our next challenge starts on Sunday the 7th of October for one week. If you would like to take part, even if its just for a few days, please let us know by using the hashtag #readtosleepweek in your posts. Please also share with others who may like to get involved.