Four Sleep Tips during the New Normal
Much of what we hold to be normal in the world has been turned upside-down due to COVID-19. The world is facing an unprecedented change in the way we live and work. These changes are far-reaching, inconsistent, and invasive into our everyday way of life. With changes to our routines and uncertainty that surrounds the future, your overall health and well-being can suffer. Many are reporting increased levels of stress and difficulty with sleep. Here we will discuss ways to help protect your sleep health during the pandemic.
We know that sleep is important for overall health and well-being. It also plays an important role in immune function. It’s no better time to ensure you’re sleeping soundly. Here are some steps you can take to get the rest you need:
4 Sleep Tips During COVID-19
1. Stick to your routines
Although your daytime schedule may be quite altered, it’s important to keep your nighttime routines as consistent as possible. That means having a 20-30 minute routine that you perform the same way each night prior to bed. It also means disconnecting from electronic devices and screens for 30-60 minutes prior to bed.
2. Protect your sleep sanctuary
Since many of us are now working from home, the lines between when we work and when we rest are blurred. It is advantageous to have a designated space in your home where you work. This space should not be in your bedroom and definitely not in your bed. You should strive to make your bedroom your sleep sanctuary such that no other activities are done there apart from sleep and intimacy. If you do this, your brain automatically begins to relax and calm down once you’re in the bedroom environment. On the contrary, if you find yourself participating in other activities, such as work meetings or stressful assignments, while in the bedroom, the brain pairs those feelings of unease with the bedroom instead of relaxation This can make it harder to doze off when it’s bedtime.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the constant news cycle given the bombardment surrounding COVID-19. However becoming too immersed in the news can also lead to negative impacts on anxiety and stress levels. Excess of anxiety can hurt the ability to relax the brain and sleep at night. If you find yourself overly anxious about what’s happening in the world, consider limiting your exposure. Seek out news and information in small doses from reliable sources. Avoid watching the news or going onto social media just prior to bed. Find activities that are safe and relaxing during the day that will allow you to disconnect from the stressors of the world. This is important not only to sleeping at night but overall well-being.
4. Know when to ask for help
If sleep disruption has worsened to the point it’s affecting your daytime performance, whether that be with work, serving as your child’s home educator, or just other day-to-day activities, consider reaching out to your physician for help. Many healthcare providers are switching to telehealth portals which allow you to see a provider from the comfort of your own home and avoid the risk of exposure to others that may be sick. Medications or additional therapies may be recommended. Although we are living in a changing world, there are some things that should remain constant, such as your focus on sleep and rejuvenation. Following the above steps may help you maintain consistency in at least one part of your day.