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14 Day Sleep Challenge Results

by Stephanie on November 20, 2014

I am participating in a sponsored post series with One to One Network and Tart Cherries. I have been provided Tart Cherry products and a Fitbit flex to facilitate my participation in the sleep challenge, as well as compensation for my posts.  However, as always, all opinions are my own. 

tart cherries

A few weeks ago, I accepted a 14 Day Tart Cherry Juice Sleep challenge. The challenge was to drink 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day for 14 days, wear a Fitbit to track my sleep each night and determine if my sleep efficiency improved as a result of drinking the tart cherry juice.  Since Tart Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, they may increase sleep efficiency (sleep efficiency is defined as the ration of time spent asleep to the amount of time spent in bed).

During the 14 days, I kept notes about how I was feeling about the challenge so I could share them with you when it was over. Since I am an engineer by profession, I am a huge data nerd and loved the idea of being able to track and chart my sleep habits.  However I was skeptical that drinking tart cherry juice would make a difference in my sleep efficiency and I had concerns about adding two glasses of juice to my daily diet because of the extra calories and sugar. Let’s take a look at my “diary” from the sleep challenge…

Cherries_pinterest_sleep challenge_v7-01

Day 1 - Drank my first glass of tart cherry juice in the morning before I ate breakfast, it was really sweet and filling. Decided to skip my morning coffee since I was already getting extra calories and sugar from the juice. Drank a glass of juice again around 9 PM and went to bed wearing my Fitbit.  Thought I could quickly chug the juice before I went to bed, but I was wrong.

Day 2 – I feel like I woke up at least 2 or three times last night, I probably slept terrible. Let me check my Fitbit results on the computer and see what it says… It says I woke up six times! Wait, my phone app says I only woke up once and was restless the other five times. Hmm, I had a pretty high sleep efficiency of 97% though and overall I got just under 8 hours of sleep.

Fitbit Sleep 1

Day 3 – This no coffee thing in the morning is making me grumpy.  Something needs to change because I have to function at work and I don’t function without coffee.  Also, it is hard to drink 8 ounces of juice in the morning! I never drink juice, just coffee or water so I am having trouble adjusting to the juice.  Did I mention you can’t chug juice?

Day 5 – This was my first weekend “on the juice” and I slept for 9 hours on Saturday night! Although I am not sure if it was because of the tart cherry juice or the lack of sleep from Friday night. Friday was Halloween night and I may have consumed too much sugar before bed, so I was restless or awake 12 times that night.  Anyway, I went back to drinking coffee when I first wake up, then sipping my juice about an hour or two later. Everyone is happier when I have my coffee.

Day 9 - My coworker has noticed that I seem to have more energy, I wonder if it is because I am getting better sleep?  It could also be from switching back to eating 90% clean again these last two weeks. I have started to notice my sleep patterns now, it takes me about 10 minutes to fall asleep and I usually wake up around 1 or 2 AM to go to the bathroom. Then I start getting restless around 4 or 5 AM in anticipation of my alarm clock. It starts going off around 5 AM and I usually snooze about 3o-40 minutes before I actually get out of bed.  My sleep efficiency averages 97-98% which is great!

Fitbit Sleep 2

Day 12 - I can honestly say that I have not been as tired when I wake up each morning but I am still ready for this challenge to end.  Drinking the 8 ounces of juice twice a day has been a challenge for me. The flavor is a combination of super sweet and tart, and the natural sugar in the juice has actually curbed some of my sugar cravings.  However if I was not participating the 14 day sleep challenge, I’m not sure I would choose to drink tart cherry juice twice a day.  Instead of just drinking the juice in the mornings, I have been mixing it with chocolate protein powder. It kind of tastes like chocolate covered cherries.

Day 14 – The challenge is over! I can’t wait to review my sleep stats for the past two weeks and see if I am sleeping better. I wonder if there is a way to get the benefit from the natural melatonin in the tart cherry juice without drinking it twice a day?  I am going to check out the Tart Cherry juice concentrate capsules and see if I get the same benefit from the natural melatonin.

Sleep stats

14 Day Sleep Challenge Results - This is a hard one. Based on the sleep stats from my Fitbit, I averaged just under 8 hours of sleep and woke up 2-12 times a night. My sleep efficiency ranged from 96% (on Halloween night when I was restless/awake 12 times) to 99% (on Saturday nights).  Even with all of this data, I am not able to find tell from the graph above that the natural melatonin in the Tart Cherry juice actually improved my sleep efficiency. However, I will say that the challenge made me pay attention to my sleep habits and make an effort to get better sleep. Keep in mind that 2 glasses of juice a day will add 280 calories to your diet, so you will have to adjust your eating habits accordingly. Since the natural sugar in the juice satisfied my sweet tooth, I found that I was not tempted to snack before bedtime.  Basically, the juice replaced my late night snack. Overall, it was an interesting challenge and I love tracking my sleep with the Fitbit every night!

Besides juice, a delicious way to include tart cherries in your daily routine is with dried tart cherries.  Try this recipe for Cherry Chocolate Chip Protein Bites for a sweet, healthy treat. I think these would make a great bedtime snack!

Cherry Chocolate Chip Protein Bites

If you want to try the 14 Day Sleep Challenge yourself and track your sleep efficiency with a Cherry Red FitBit, enter the giveaway for a prize package valued at $550!  The winner of the Rafflecopter giveaway will win:

• Fitbit Flex in Red
• $100 Spafinder.com gift card
• Pottery Barn Cozy cable knit throw
• Natural Wake & Sleep System
• Restoration Hardware Bathrobe
• Tart Cherries product: dried, juice, and concentrate

Cherries Sleep Giveaway Graphic 10.29

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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14 Day Sleep Challenge

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tart cherries

I am participating in a sponsored post series with One to One Network and Tart Cherries. I have been provided Tart Cherry products and a Fitbit to facilitate my participation in the sleep challenge, as well as compensation for my posts.  However, as always, all opinions are my own.  I don’t think I go a […]

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