There is no denying that COVID-19 has impacted our lives to varying degrees. From the disruption of daily routines to enduring new and different challenges, the upheaval inevitably causes stress and affects sleep quality.
The body and mind relies on quality sleep in order to stay healthy and happy, but when we undergo multiple changes simultaneously, as with COVID-19, getting good sleep can prove difficult.
Below are 8 tips that can help improve sleep.
Limit Use of Electronics in the Evening
During this pandemic crisis, technology enables us to stay in touch with loved ones remotely, which can strengthen bonds as well as alleviate loneliness, stress and depression. Additionally, it keeps us informed of the ever-changing protocols regarding social and professional guidelines. However, unless you limit yourself to such updates, it’s easy to become inundated, which will inadvertently affect sleep. Quality sleep requires implementing a few good habits, so why not make it a priority to turn off all screens at least one hour before bedtime and if possible, avoid having electronic devices in the bedroom altogether.
Create a Sleep Schedule and Stick to It
When it comes to getting the right amount of sleep, there is no one-size fits all. While the top recommendation for adults is 7-8 hours each night, it varies among individuals. Regardless if you thrive on 6 or 9 hours of sleep, make a point of going to bed at the same time each night. And, during this new era, maintaining a regular sleep schedule will support your body’s natural circadian rhythm and overall well-being.
Likewise, maintaining a daily schedule of normal routines will provide much needed structure and consistency in your life. Even if those routines have recently changed, due to COVID-19, normalcy plays an important role in helping us feel safe and secure.
No matter your daily lifestyle, family dynamic, or how often you care for others, set aside at least one hour each day of alone time. Spend that time pampering yourself, or doing something you enjoy. Whether that is a long hot shower, listening to music, reading, or meditating, make sure you turn off all devices and avoid distractions from others.
Improve Your Sleeping Environment
Is your bedroom conducive to sleep? Creating a space that actually helps sooth you to sleep isn’t difficult. For instance, darkness helps trigger the body’s production of melatonin, a natural sleep aid. Try wearing an eye mask or upgrading to window treatments that block out light. Studies also show that cooler temperatures improve sleep quality. A naturally temperature regulating down blanket or comforter are good choices for an optimal sleep experience. Additionally, if noises routinely wake you up, try using a white or pink noise app or machine to deaden the audible distractions.
Finally, stay up to date with new COVID-19 developments by focusing on a single reliable news source, rather than spending countless hours scrolling social media or other apps. Also, by limiting your exposure to screen time, not only are you protecting yourself emotionally, but the blue light from computers, television, and cell phones also cause the brain to reduce melatonin production, thus leading to poor sleep. Even though, our daily lives have endured multiple changes during the past several months, creating habits that support quality sleep and a healthy lifestyle are possible.