guy sleeping at the wheel

30 day challenge: Get 8 hours of sleep

I’ve decided to do a 30 day challenge:

Get 8 hours of sleep every single night, for 30 days straight.

(I wrote this at the start of my 30 day sleep challenge, if you want to read my results, read this blog post)

The ultimate goal of getting more sleep

The goal is to live fuller.

By improving my sleep, I want to be as present, happy, productive and loving as I can possibly be.

I know, and it has been scientifically proven, that if I don’t get enough sleep:

  • My cognitive abilities go down
  • My creativity declines
  • I am much less able to handle, and much more prone to stress
  • My decision making abilities will worsen
  • And my ability to handle conflict or life challenging situations and be resilient and happy and positive throughout them goes to sh*t

All of these things make it much more difficult for me to be more present, happy, productive and loving!

I have been living with all this knowledge in my head for so long now.

But I kept going to bed late.

I kept telling myself that I was “too busy”.

I kept watching videos on YouTube for so long that I sometimes ended up in places where I’m like…. wtfffff?

What made me decide to do this challenge?

Recently I have gotten a Fitbit Surge, which tracks basically all my activity during the day and night.

Including sleep.

And the numbers don’t lie.

I don’t get enough sleep on a consistent basis.

This is a random snapshot of one of my days:

FitBit Surge Sleep snapshot



You see?

I only got a little over 5 hours of sleep.

Now, there are nights where I get closer to 7 or even 8 hours of sleep.

But it is not consistent at all.

I have only been tracking for two weeks, but I know from experience that it has been like this for years.

And it’s time to change that.

What am I going to change to get more sleep?

There are a couple of things I am going to change.

Even something that may sound a little counterintuitive.

  • Alarm:
    I will set an alarm on my phone, 9 hours before bedtime. This will notify me that it’s time to unplug.
  • No screens:
    For the last hour before really hitting the hay, I will not look at any screen, reply to any digital messages, check Facebook or watch a video.
  • Rest more during the day:
    It sounds counterintuitive but I will take 15 minutes every day and go for a walk. Without my phone. This helps me to train my body to relax every once in a while, instead of being stressed out and hyped up during the whole day.
  • Thoughts:
    When I am in bed, I’m not going to go over all the tasks in the day in front of me. (I should have done this before.) I will be in a place of gratitude. Thinking about all the things I’m grateful for. The same goes for my mornings. I am going to focus on all the things I’m grateful for, first, before planning my day and getting into the practical stuff.
  • Coffee:
    No more coffe after noon.

Fun sidenote: I also ordered these ear buds to help me cancel out the noise at night. Because I feel like I hear a lot of noise when I sleep in Antwerp, I’m going to try these things and check my sleep charts to see if I have calmer nights (less restless periods etc.)

Daily updates

Then, for some fun and accountability…

I’m going to do daily updates of my sleep tracking data, right here on my blog.

I’ll post a screenshot of my sleep data every day, during these 30 days.


  • So there’s no way for me to cheat
  • I’ll be more motivated to get those 8 hours of well needed sleep because now there’s this whole psychological accountability thing going on

And hey, if I succeed… I might be a much more pleasant person than I was before.


Aside from the daily updates…

Who knows what else I’ll discover along these 30 days!

Usually the best things are not found in getting the actual goal itself, but rather along the way to that goal. #ItsAllAboutTheJourney

We’ll see.

I’ll keep you posted.

(Update: Check out my results blog post here)


  1. Gosse Kolbeek

    I know how hard it is. I need according to my age between 7 and 9 hours sleep and during week days I always get less than 7 hrs. Only during the weekends I exceed the 9 hrs 🙂

  2. Pingback: My semicolon tattoo - Hans Kolbeek

  3. Darnell

    Did you ever do a summary post about what you learned from this? What happened?

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