Insomnia was a growing problem before the pandemic and now with COVID-19, there are new sleep challenges. A disruption in daily life may be causing you problems with sleep.
Working from home has most likely brought on a set of new challenges that may be keeping you awake. Here are some problems you may be experiencing:
- Anxiety and worry
- Stress-related to work and family
Too much screen time
These issues could be contributing to the lack of sleep or poor sleep quality.
Why Sleep Is So Important
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of health and right now it’s even more important for your wellbeing. Here are some reasons you need to sleep during the pandemic:
While you sleep, your body repairs and strengthens itself. That includes your immune system. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body has trouble fighting off any bacteria or viruses.
Sleep also improves brain function. When you get enough sleep your brain works better. You are able to concentrate, problem-solve, have better memory and learning as well as make better decisions.
Sleep also improves mental health. Not getting enough sleep can contribute to increased stress, anxiety, chronic physical conditions, and poor mental health. Lack of sleep has been associated with many chronic health conditions and mental health conditions such as depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, heart disease, high blood pressure, being overweight, and diabetes.
Tips for Sleeping Better During COVID-19
Have A Sleep Routine
Having a sleep routine tells your body when to wake up and when to go to sleep.
Wake up- Set your alarm for the same time every morning. Try to avoid hitting the snooze button.
Unwind- A few hours before bed, start relaxing. Limit your screen time, and read a book, meditate, or take a warm bath or shower. Relaxing and unwinding are critical to getting a good night’s sleep.
Have a routine such as putting on your PJs and brushing your teeth and reading a bedtime story to the kids.
Some other routines you can follow during the day are:
- Getting ready for work (even though you are not leaving the house)
- Eating your meals at the same time every day
- Taking exercise breaks
Your Bed- Avoid using your bed for work. Use your bed only for sleep and sex with your partner. Don’t be tempted to watch a movie in bed before you go to sleep. Your brain will associate your bed with sleep if you are not using it for entertainment.
If you are tossing and turning get out of bed and do something relaxing in low light to help you relax and get sleepy.
Right now, during the pandemic, getting good quality sleep is one of the best ways to take care of yourself. Having a routine can signal your body that it’s time for bed. Relax and let the stress of the day go. Sleep helps both your mind and body prepare the next day.