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Sleep and A/B Testing – The Survival Mom

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I’m not sure when it started, but for the past several years I’ve tried all kinds of tactics and strategies to improve my sleep, and I know I’m not the only adult who struggles with this.

Before I explain how

I want to tell you about my outdoor office and all the A/B testing I’ve been doing lately to improve my life.


I send you my weekly email newsletter every Sunday, but bear with me as I get caught up on some of these other topics that have been on my mind. You might get 2 or 3 emails from me in a row, so be warned!  

So, let’s start with A/B testing and how it might improve your life. First, what is it?

A/B testing is a popular strategy in marketing. One simple example is sending out a sales email with two subject lines to two groups of people to see which subject line is opened most often. Marketers will then test the most popular subject line with yet a third subject line, testing again to see which will have the higher email opening rate.

Marketers test everything. Which emjoi is most popular? Which photo entices people to click and buy? Do they click on a kitten or a puppy more often? Do people open their emails more often on Wednesdays or Sundays? Which color of button gets the most clicks? Everything is A/B tested.

You have been the target of A/B marketing without ever knowing. 

It’s not a bad thing. Just marketers trying to figure out what appeals most to their target audience and ending up with the most successful solution.

I’m always looking to improve my life and find solutions to frustrations and failures, so I decided to try A/B testing in my daily life.

Here’s what I’ve done so far.

One of my biggest frustrations lately has been a lack of sleep. I wake up once or twice every night, and no matter what I do, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in months.

Could be hormones. Could be too many blankets, too much light in the bedroom, too little magnesium in my diet, and so on. Maybe I need to cut down on caffeine.

To solve this dilemma, I wanted to do some A/B testing with one variable at a time. My aim is to sleep like a baby more nights than not!
The first thing I tried was to go outside every morning as soon as I woke up to get morning sunlight on my face for 5-10 minutes. It may sound crazy, but this simple step helps reset your body clock, AND IT WORKS! In less than a week, I was waking up between 7 and 7:30 every morning. My sleep was still disrupted, but at least I was waking up naturally in the morning.

Next, I tried wearing a sleep mask. I’ve never used one before and wasn’t sure how comfortable it would be, but for sure, it blocked out all the little LED lights here and there in our bedroom as well as the patio lights that our neighbors sometimes leave on. The mask wasn’t uncomfortable, but often it became hot during the night.

Result: a sleep mask helps block light but ultimately wasn’t much help in improving my sleep.

Next, I cranked down the air conditioning and turned up the ceiling fan to a higher setting. The cooler temperatures and air flow helped, but I was still waking up during the night. I combined the sleep mask with the A/C and fan, and this was an improvement, but the hot face mask cancelled out the cooler air, so I nixed the mask.

Not satisfied yet, I read that a quarter teaspoon of glycine combined with chamomile tea was a sure-fire way to get a good night’s sleep, so I tried that. For a week, I made a mug of the tea for myself and my husband and mixed in the glycine. This put me into a deeper level sleep with vivid dreams. This was progress but still searching for that uninterrupted 7-8 hours of sleep.

Oddly, one night I wore a different pair of pajamas, one with snug fitting leggings. Kind of a longjohns style, and that one random change made a huge difference! I wondered if perhaps my usual pajama sets with loose, baggy pajama pants might irritate me during the night.

So far my A/B testing has resulted in this combination that seems to work:

  • A cold bedroom with moving air
  • Comfortable, snug pajamas
  • Glycine with chamomile tea

I recently started taking 3 capsules of magnesium each night but can’t see that it has made much of a difference in sleep improvement, and I probably should try having a regular bedtime for a week or two.

The A/B testing continues!

My next A/B test is setting up an office on my patio. I’m interested to see if fresh air, sunlight, and the smells and sounds of nature improve my focus and productivity.

What does this have to do with you?

If you’ve ever tried to discover a food allergy, you already know how to apply A/B testing in your life. You omit one food or food category from your diet for a couple of weeks and then watch to see if your symptoms disappear or change.

Actually, diet changes are one of the easiest A/B tests you can try, but A/B testing can apply to much more.

What is something in your life you would like to improve? Something that frustrates you? It need not be anything major, an irritant is enough!

Is your hair driving you crazy? Maybe try a different shampoo, an herbal rinse, or a different way of drying it. Try just one thing for a few days or a couple of weeks to see if there’s an improvement or not, and then try something else.

Is dinnertime a daily nightmare? Try moving it to a different time or posting a menu for the week so everyone knows what to expect.

Maybe you’re worrying too much! Go for a week with no social media. Try keeping a journal for a week to see if your worries are grounded in reality or are exacerbated by news reports looking for more clicks.

Are higher food prices a concern? Try mixing a 1/2 cup of cooked lentils with your hamburger or meatloaf recipe and see if anyone notices. If that’s a success, then try adding a few more cooked lentils or a rice and beans meal once a week.

Here are the key points.

1. Test something that will have noticeable results. (Example: improving sleep.)
2. Be purposeful. Apply the process at least several days in a row.
3. Test one new variable at a time. (Daily early sunlight, for example.)
4. Observe and evaluate the results. (My result: This was a success in helping me wake up earlier.)
5. Keep a written record if that’s helpful to you.
6. Try a second variable on its own or combined with the first one if that one was successful. (I added a sleep mask to early morning sunlight to see if this combination was an improvement.)

Continue testing different variations until you have a successful formula for making that one improvement or solving a problem.

We all have struggles and frustrations, and sometimes these impact the quality of our lives. You don’t have to live that way once you understand how to apply A/B testing to your life!

Coming up with multiple ways of resolving an issue, then testing them one by one, is a life-skill that will never go out of season and will result in a happier life.

It’s all about A/B testing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about A/B testing and if you’re going to give it a try! Don’t worry about getting it “perfect”. Just get started!

All the best,


P.S. You may want to read this article about prepping and minimalism if living a simpler life as a prepper is a goal. It might give you some ideas for A/B testing!

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