This year the coronavirus has crept into every aspect of our lives, and our sleep is no different. Many physicians and experts are seeing more patients suffer from insomnia and anxiety related to COVID-19, affecting their sleep. Experts suggest sleeping a full 8 hours each night is the key to having productive days and feeling well-rested. The rest we get each night from a sound sleep strengthens our body’s defenses, so essentially a well-rested person’s immune system will be stronger than someone who lacks sleep. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help get a better night’s sleep during this global pandemic.
One of the most important things is to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Although things may come up and you might find yourself going to bed later, try your best to commit to a sleep schedule. Your body will adjust to that change and adapt your internal clock, known as your circadian rhythm. It’s also important to avoid taking naps during the day. It can be tempting, but unfortunately, they can make you less tired in the evening and interfere with your sleep rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep.
Experts recommend staying active during the day if you’re feeling the effects of COVID-19. A simple walk to stir up energy can be very effective in feeling productive. Exercise is also recommended because of the potential to see more “light.” If you can spend more time outside in natural lighting, then this will positively affect your body when you are trying to fall asleep later at night. Exposure to light plays a crucial role in helping our bodies regulate healthy sleep.
Another important tip that physicians and experts recommend is taking a break from electronics before bed. Not only does it take you away from the news, social media, and worry that those outlets can create, especially with COVID-19, but it will also help facilitate better sleep. When electronics are used right before bed, your body takes in the light from these devices and tricks your internal clock into staying up later. So, try to put away the phone or turn off the TV at least one hour before going to bed and opt for reading a book instead.
Seemingly not related to your sleep, stay as connected as possible with friends and family during these times. The disconnect we’ve had to experience during this pandemic has created a lot of stress and uncertainty. A simple video or phone call can help bridge the gap that most people are feeling right now. Schedule designated times for these calls and ensure your conversation is directed at topics unrelated to the coronavirus.
Although our daily lives seem to be surrounded by news of COVID-19, secure yourself a stress-free night’s sleep. Maintain a regular sleep schedule, stay active during the day, avoid electronics before bed, and stay in touch with friends and family to help you from being overwhelmed by COVID-19.
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