How To Sleep During Covid-19
We all know how important sleep is. We’ve all heard and read about its many health and beauty benefits, and even how it may be able to increase our life expectancy. Yet, many of us, nonchalantly have tossed this information out the window in favor of long nights binging on our favorite show (or whatever else you like to do when you stay up).
We also know that sleep can work wonders on our immune system, and given that that’s a topic of interest in the current global climate, is it possible we’ll start heeding the warnings to sleep more?
SLEEP AND THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC
As a case of irony, now that we want and need to sleep more (and have the time) we may be having more trouble than ever falling asleep. And that’s completely normal for a couple of different reasons.
Yes, we’re all anxious and fearful, be it because of the virus, because of the political situation, because of the possible sky-high hospital bills we might incur if we do fall sick (ahem, US of A), or because our finances have abruptly taken a steep dive. So yes, there are a myriad of reasons why we feel anxious and fearful.
Our bodies work better when we anchor them to a schedule. But now, if you’re working from home (or not working at all) our bodies don’t know left from right, and our circadian rhythm gets thrown out of whack.
Now that the gyms and trails are closed, are we really exercising at home? Are we doing anything at home? If you are, congratulations, you’ve found a way to remain useful. If you’re anything like me, you’ve become a total potato couch only making brief trips from the living room to the kitchen and back. (Don’t judge me, please. My mother already does that)
Since we’re spending more time indoors than we’re used to, chances are we’re surfing from one screen to another. In my case, I go from computer screen (work), to TV screen (relax), to iPad screen (reading, writing, etc.) to iPhone screen at night (looking at memes.) I’m pretty sure 89.3% of the population is following the same schedule.
How can I sleep, then?
Yes, now you want to sleep, but you can’t. (Insert evil laugh) No, in all seriousness, you should try everything. Here are a few tips.
Keep a Schedule
Your body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) is key to falling asleep. This clock tells your body when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to go to sleep. It’s your internal mother. When it knows it’s time to sleep, your body releases melatonin to start the natural process of falling asleep. Sticking to the same schedule helps your body know when it should be doing what and settle into a regular sleep-wake cycle. But if you’re constantly changing the time you wake up and the time you go to sleep, your body will be as confused as anyone in the Trump administration.
Keeping the same schedule every day means no sleeping in on the weekends. I know, I know, what a terrible thing to say, but your body will thank you by adjusting to a sleeping schedule and allowing you to get to that coveted ZZZ land.
This one doesn’t need much explanation. If you sleep during the day, you’ll find it harder to sleep at night.
Yes, move around. Get your body tired. Depending on where you live, you might be able to go for short walks outside (please abide by all government rules and keep a safe distance from other people). But if that’s not your case, don’t fret. You can still keep active at home. In my case, I’ve been “walking” in front of the TV while watching awesome shows. Sure, I will not gain any sort of muscle from doing this, but I’ve noticed that it’s easier to sleep at night when I get my 30 minutes of exercise a day.
How are you sleeping?
Are you having trouble sleeping now more than before?
Watch Your Diet
What you eat and drink can have a direct effect on how you sleep. Avoid caffeine and alcohol at least 4 hours before your bedtime, as well as heavy meals.
No News Before Bed Time
I’ve noticed news are a direct source of anxiety for me as well as many. Every time I click on the News app, there’s a new horror lurking right around the corner. If you MUST read the news (and you should, every now and then at least) don’t do it before bedtime. And always choose trusted sources.
Do as much as you can to get a good night sleep. It is now more important than ever to let our mind, our body, and our soul get the rest they deserve. Don’t give up!