Sleep during COVID-19. How to get in balance?
- Published on :05/19/2020
Many of us have experienced sleep issues during the current lockdown. There are many reasons why people around the globe experience sleep disturbances during these uncertain times. A lot of us are facing financial difficulties, which is causing stress. Change of the daily routine can also become a stressor, especially as we spend more time at home and have to be working and taking care of our families at the same time. Some of us may experience anxiety due to relatives' health issues. Not knowing what will happen next is also causing uneasiness. So, overall, we are experiencing much more stress. And that may lead to disturbances in sleep.
If you notice that you suffer from sleep disturbances, find it more difficult to fall or stay asleep during the lockdown, here are some things that you can address. Applying these simple daily routine and sleep tips may help you get your sleep back into balance.
Spend more time outdoors
Go outside as much as you can, especially in the first part of the day. Natural daytime light helps our body to get the sleep-wake cycle into order by regulating the hormones that are responsible for it. We also tend to be more physically active when we are outdoors. And more physical activity during the day equals better sleep at night.
Reduce screen time in the evening
Staying at home makes us seek more entertainment online. In general, we do many more things online, so we are much more exposed to our screens. Ample screentime (especially in the evening) can worsen our sleep as mobile and computer screens emit blue light that suppresses melatonin (sleep hormone) secretion. Therefore, we may have issues in both falling asleep and staying asleep. Try not to use your mobile devices at least 60 minutes before sleep.
Keep a bedtime routine
Going to sleep and waking up at the same time helps your body stay in balance. As our usual routine has shifted, our bedtime may have changed, too. Many of us can now spend more time in bed in the morning as we don't have to rush to work. This may lead to oversleeping. Our body gets confused, and, therefore, we may experience sleep issues. Set a specific time for bed and try to go to sleep at the same time. Also, set an alarm clock for the morning and be diligent at waking up at the same time.
Keep your bedroom for sleeping
As we spend more time at home, we may be tempted to spend more awake time in our bedroom: eating, reading, working, and so on. This may cause our brain to associate bed with all these activities and awake time instead of sleep. Once our brain gets used to thinking that bed is for being awake, you might experience trouble falling asleep at night. So, keep your bed for sleep and sex only.
Avoid napping at daytime
As we get stressed, tired, and spend more time at home, we may be tempted to have some daytime sleep. This may lead to oversleeping, and we may experience issues with falling and staying asleep at night. If you feel sleepy during the day, consider going outside for a little walk, or going to a balcony to get some fresh air, or perhaps sitting down on a sofa doing some relaxing breathing exercises. Stay away from napping unless it's absolutely unavoidable. Be well and let us know if you try any of these tips.