Sleep Number CEO Shelly Ibach Introduces Us to the Sleep30 Challenge

Nothing like jet lag to screw up your sleep schedule. But we’re not the only ones. According to the CDC, more than a third of us aren’t getting enough sleep on a regular basis. So Molner and I are taking part in the Sleep30 Challenge by Sleep Number—and we’d love for you all to join us! It’s a free 30-day online wellness plan that will get our sleep routine into shape! ? Read my conversation below with Shelly Ibach, the CEO of Sleep Number and the Queen of Slumber, for some really helpful advice…

Katie Couric: Hey, Shelly, this is such a great idea! What inspired the Sleep30 Challenge and what do you hope folks are able to gain from it?

Shelly Ibach: May 2018 was America’s worst slept month according to SleepIQ® data. Help us make this May the month we sleep the best!

A quality bed that uses smart technology to make it effortless for you to get better sleep is key. The second most important factor in achieving quality sleep is your routine. Many people unintentionally do things during the day and right before bed that sabotage their sleep. To combat this, the Sleep30® Challenge by Sleep Number has an easy-to-follow blueprint that begins to change your sleep habits.

Sleep is vital to every aspect of life – it helps us focus, boosts our immune system and physical health, enhances our relationships and our job performance. While it is one of our most basic human needs, people are just beginning to know it. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 35% of adults aren’t getting sufficient rest. With over 40% of consumers concerned that their health will worsen due to poor quality sleep (source: Parks Associates), we must turn awareness of the importance of sleep into action.

I couldn’t agree more and I’m excited to get started! Take me through the challenge, week by week…

The first step is signing up to take the pledge at You’ll then receive a series of emails from Sleep Number that help guide you through the 30-day challenge. You will learn how to set a sleep schedule, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and understand the impact of food, exercise and stress.

  • Week 1: Prepare by getting your room ready and set a new bedtime routine.
  • Week 2: Create a routine that works for you and commit to it.
  • Weeks 3 and 4: Pick an area of struggle such as food, exercise or stress management.

Sounds like I’m in for quite a month! Speaking of “areas of struggle,” what part of the challenge tends to be the most difficult for people?

While sleep is universal, how we achieve quality sleep is individualized. Because everyone has unique sleep needs, the steps to achieving higher quality sleep will also be highly personal. Those who have participated in the program say the most challenging part is being patient while their routine is being modified.

The challenge is designed to include small incremental steps, so nothing feels overwhelming. What’s most important is that you practice for 30 days.

Got it, patience is key! I’m going to focus on kicking my jet lag and getting my sleep schedule back on track…what are your own sleep goals for the challenge?

I am committed to turning the TV off at bedtime to create a better nighttime ritual.

That’s a tough one but so important. Finally, what’s the most valuable tip you can offer all of us to get a better night’s rest?

People often focus on everything but their bed, when in fact, what you sleep on matters. Comfort and support are essential to getting a great night’s rest. And so is the quality of sleep over quantity.