NO SUGAR & BETTER SLEEP: 21-Day Challenge

No sugar and better sleep for the Bergs from January 25th to February 14th

I’m taking 21 days off from processed sugar (fruit ok) as well as going to bed by 9 pm (for at least 8 hours of sleep) to begin developing habits of abstinence and optimal health, but I’m mostly doing it to record how I feel.  2023 is all about health and growth.

SUGAR: I’m actually pretty good about sugar, thanks to the positive influence of my wife.  If we have ice cream in the house, it’s a problem.  Otherwise, I put a little 100% maple syrup in my coffee each morning, and that’s it.  I think zero sugar, including cutting back on fruit and carbs (and limiting booze), will be massive.

SLEEP: I’m excited to see what downstream positive changes will happen automatically from forcing a 9pm bedtime.  Initially, this was supposed to be a daily surf accompanying no sugar, but I’m in crunch time right now to get a ton of work done (and a few hours of being away from the office per day is too much of a commitment.)  I’ll bet I eat less crap at night, drink less booze, and increase productivity by forcing an early bedtime.  We’ll see!

Last month Average stats: 

  • REM 1hr24min
  • Core 5hr4min
  • Deep 47min
  • time asleep 7hr15min
  • Respiratory Rate 7.5-20 BrPM
  • Heart Rate: 47-85bpm

Treehouse Sweets

Stay tuned as I share insights after my 21-days of savory fun!
(date tracked as night of sleep, not morning.)

  • 1 – Jan 25: Got to bed early, got stuck late reading… 7hrs13min
  • 2 – Jan 26: Didn’t sleep all that well. Realizing I need to go to bed earlier due to reading habits, and I need a shower right before. 7hrs32min
  • 3 – Jan 27: 9hr7min
  • 4 – Jan 28: 8hr28min
  • 5 – Jan 29: 6hrs2min – Everyone’s sick, so I slept on the couch.  Didn’t sleep well. Blew it and ate some cake last night without thinking.  It was handed to me, and I blacked out.
  • 6 – Jan 30: 7hrs3min
  • 7 – Jan 31: 6hrs11mins
  • 8 – Feb 1: 4hrs32mins – What I thought would be a much easier challenge has turned out to be much harder.  It’s now clear that not drinking is necessary to sleep better and eliminate sugar.  Staying away from sweets is easy, but breads and booze turn into sugar, so it’s kind of pointless.
  • 9 – Feb 2: 7hr7min
  • 10 – Feb 3: 9hr36min
  • 11 – Feb 4: 7hr23min
  • 12 – Feb 5: 6hr 1min
  • 13 – Feb 6: 8hr 29min
  • 14 – Feb 7: 7hr2min
  • 15 – Feb 8: 6hr58min
  • 16 – Feb 9: 6hr15min
  • 17 – Feb 10: 9hr24min
  • 18 – Feb 11: 8hr15min
  • 19 – Feb 12: 6hr49min
  • 20 – Feb 13: 6hr15min
  • 21 – Feb 14: 7hr29min – on my final night, I was stung at 1am by a centipede on my neck.  Would have scored 8 hours had this not happened…

Ending Average stats: 

  • REM 1hr26min (2 minutes more than before)
  • Core 5hr (4 minutes less)
  • Deep 45min (2 minutes less)
  • time asleep 7hr11min (4 minutes less)
  • Respiratory Rate 8-20.5 BrPM (Increase)
  • Heart Rate: 47-85bpm (no change)

Update: February 15th

I’m trying to look at this as no a failure but instead observing muy behavior.  At one point, I saw some chocolates (something I never crave, and didn’t crave at the time) and I ate a few to spite myself.  What the heck?  Makes no sense.  My sleep was almost the same as before, and I only hit my goal 6 times.

What did I learn?

  • I really don’t have a problem with sweets.  If I’ve been eating them (holidays, travel, etc…), I get into the habit and want it.
  • Sleep is the problem.  I KNOW I need 8+ hours to function optimally, and I always have trouble getting there.  I need to focus on the upstream habits that most affect my sleep cycle.


weird sleep


What’s next?

I think No Caffeine and Blogging is next…  I’ll be doing a Geek conference in Austin as well as a last minute snowboard trip to Whistler, so I think that’d fit well.  We’ll see, or I’ll just take a few weeks break from the challenges.  More soon!

PAST: 2 decades on Maui, 35 years of surfing, 21 countries traveled, and just 1 treehouse built.

PRESENT: Seeking great food, would create art daily if I had endless energy/time, I run 3 businesses, and I put family at #1.  Prepping for the next personal challenge.

FUTURE: I'm most excited catching up and getting ahead with work. We just did 3.5 months of traveling, so no more major travel for a bit.

21 Day Challenges


  • No booze - Cutting out midnight snacking too.
  • No sugar - Nothing processed.  Some fruit is ok.
  • No caffeine - Might add in green tea if headaches occur.
  • No social media - I'll do my best to schedule/delegate work.
  • Heartburn/GERD - Focus on gut repair.
  • EMP Prep - Learn, Prep, Gather for potential EMP attack.
  • No clutter - Each day I'll spend 2 hours culling the cluter, be it on the computer, in closets, the garage, etc...
  • No meat - I might make an exception for fish & eggs...
  • No screentime - TV/movies, phone, social, work?
  • No Dairy - Cut out everything.
  • No Gluten - 100% gluten-free and mostly carb free.
  • Organic - Eat only organic.
  • No Dark Colors - wear only light clothing.
  • Toxic People - Actively delete contacts and remove crap humans.


  • Workout - Daily circuit, swim, surf, or hike.
  • Sleep - Daily bedtime of 9 am with at least 8 hours of sleep.
  • Breath Hold/Work - Daily practice to increase time.
  • Meditate - Daily 20+ minutes of meditation or breath work.
  • Reading - 40+ books read in a year.
  • Videos - Daily editing and publishing.
  • Build - Daily build of a catio.
  • Gratitude Journal - Daily paragraph to page.
  • Surf - Daily surf sessions for 1-hour minimum.
  • Art - Daily artwork of at least 1 hour.
  • Blogging - 1 daily blog post on this site or for work.
  • Ice/Heat - Daily Ice Bath and/or Sauna.
  • Friendship - Daily active time with friends.
  • Water - Only water as liquid intake, 10+ glasses daily.

Please comment below if you’d like to join me on one of these!  

1 Comment

  1. Natalie Norberg

    I think you’re amazing and inspiring! I’m going to do this with you!!


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