Many people who get better from COVID notice that their sleep had changed from how it was before they got sick. Physical wellness and the practical function of the immune system depend on a good night’s sleep. Depression, anxiety, and stress can all be alleviated by regular exercise.
One person may have a hard time getting into bed. Another person may wake up early and can’t go back to sleep. A possible reason for not feeling rested after a good night’s sleep could be that you haven’t slept. If this is the case, you might also want to read up on dealing with fatigue.
Sleep problems can happen for years or start up during the pandemic. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve had insomnia; there are things you can do to make it better for your general health and well-being.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Sleeping
Despite the overwhelming odds, there are a few things you may do to get a better night’s sleep during the pandemic.
Don’t give up if your efforts don’t provide results right away. Your sleep needs may change over time and necessitate some modification of the advice provided here.
Set Your Schedule and Routine
A sense of normalcy can be restored even in chaos by establishing a routine. As a result, health professionals have long advised people to avoid drastically altering their daily sleep schedules.
The following items should be included in your daily schedule that is specific to sleep:
- Wake-Up Time: Do not use the snooze button. Set your alarm (if necessary), and stick to a regular wake-up time every day.
- Wind Down Time: When it comes to getting ready for bed, this is the most critical time of day. Reading, relaxing, and meditating can all fall under this category, as can evening rituals like putting on pajamas and brushing your teeth. The pandemic’s stress needs an extra nightly wind-down period.
- Bedtime: When it’s time for bed, set a regular time when you’ll turn off the lights and try to sleep.
Aside from resting and getting ready for bed, the following rituals can help provide time signals during the day:
- Get dressed and shower, even if you aren’t going somewhere.
- Eating the same meal every day at the same time.
- Scheduling your everyday activities, such as work, exercise, and household tasks, for specified times of the day.
Also Read: How Mattresses Affect Sleep
Make a Sleep Reservation in Your Bed
Experts in sleep medicine stress the necessity of mentally associating your bed with sleep. As a result, they frequently advise that the only activities in your bed are sleep and sex.
The implication is that working from home doesn’t necessarily entail working in your pajamas. This includes not using a laptop or tablet when you’re in bed to watch a movie or series.
Don’t spend more than 20 minutes twitching and turning if you can’t get to sleep at night. Instead, get out of bed and do something relaxing in low light before going back to sleep.
Make sure that you change your sheets, fluff your pillowcases, and regularly make your bed fresh and inviting. If you’re thinking about getting a new bed, choose the best mattress for your body type and preferences and any other sleep accessories that need to be changed.
Optimize Your Lighting
Exposure to light helps our bodies develop a regular sleep schedule, and it also has a positive impact on many other elements of our well-being. It is, nevertheless, crucial to consider the timing and type of light exposure.
It’s best to expose yourself to natural light as early in the day as possible to assist reset your circadian rhythm24. There are ways to maintain healthy sleep even if the pandemic produces disturbances in daily life:
- If you can, get some sun. Natural light improves circadian rhythms even when the sun isn’t shining. Many people believe it is preferable to walk outside first thing in the morning to obtain some fresh air.
- Open windows and blinds as much as possible during the day to allow natural light into your home.
- Smartphone, tablet, and computer blue light has been shown to disrupt the body’s natural sleep-promoting mechanisms. An hour before night, avoid using these devices. Blue light can be reduced or filtered using device settings or apps.
Be Careful with Naps
You may find yourself napping more often if you’re at home all day. Rather than sluggishly snoozing, try a more deliberate and regular sleep schedule.
Strategic naps can aid concentration, memory development, emotional management, and lower daytime tiredness. On the other hand, taking longer naps can make it more difficult to drift off to sleep at night, so keep them to no more than 10-20 minutes.
Also Read: How to Make a Pillow?
It’s easy to forget about exercise when there’s so much going on in the world, but regular exercise has a lot of essential benefits, including making it easier to get a good night’s sleep.
It’s a good idea to walk or do something else outside. Depending on your situation, you may be able to return to the gym and work out. Much information about exercise that could be done at home can also be found on the internet.
Embrace Generosity and Build Relationships
It might not seem vital to your sleep, but sympathy and connection can alleviate stress and its adverse implications on mood and sleep.
While awful news might feel overwhelming and all-consuming, look for positive stories, such as how individuals are helping one another cope with the pandemic.
Even if you are involved in social distancing, you can use technology to remain in contact with loved ones and maintain social bonds.
Rely on Relaxation Methods
Finding relaxation techniques can assist you in getting a better night’s sleep. Deep breathing, stretching, gymnastics, mindfulness meditation, soothing music, and quiet study are just a few relaxation techniques you can use daily.
If you’re unsure where to start, try apps like Headspace and Calm, which provide newcomer meditation routines.
Avoiding becoming overwhelmed with coronavirus-related news is another way to unwind during the pandemic. You could, for example, attempt the following techniques:
- Bookmark one or two reputable news sources and only visit them for a specific time each day.
- Limiting how much time you spend browsing via social media. Many tools can track and even prohibit your daily time spent using social media and apps if you want to assist.
- You should set up phone or video calls with your family and friends as part of this. You should also agree to talk about something else than the coronavirus ahead of time.
Eat and Drink Sensibly
You can get a good night’s sleep if you eat well. Stress and ambiguity in the world make it even more essential to take care of your body. When there is a lot of stress and uncertainty, it can be easily reachable for fatty and sugary foods or for happy hour to start spilling into the early parts of the day.
If you want to stay healthy, pick healthy foods and drinks. If you want to be healthy, you should try to eat many vegetables and fruits and lean meats. Alcohol and caffeine can make it hard for you to get a good night’s sleep, so be careful.
When in Doubt, Consult Your Physician
If you experience persistent, worsening, or awakening sleep issues, you should see your doctor. See your doctor for any further physical or mental issues, such as a long-lasting or severe mood swing.
Your doctor may recommend particular treatments to help you sleep better and handle other medical conditions. While the pandemic has made accessing care more complicated, many doctors’ offices and clinics have been able to resume regular hours.
Providers have also increased availability via telemedicine, allowing patients to communicate without visiting their offices. People may be able to get some types of sleep-related treatments online, like mindfulness-based therapies25 or cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I)26.
Also Read: Best Mattress For Sciatica in 2021 Guide
Some More COVID-19 Sleeping Tips
You can do things to increase excellent sleep because it is perfect for speeding up treatment from COVID-19 or any sickness. Take into account the following suggestions:
Take a Warm Bath:
A warm bath could help relieve muscle pain. It’s also a fantastic method to relax before bedtime.
Go to Sleep Earlier:
Increase the time you go to bed: Now is not the time to skimp on sleep. Try to sleep an hour or two more each night. During the day, if you feel the urge for a nap, take one.
Use a Humidifier:
Use a cool-mist air purifier in your room to increase moisture in the air. Congestion and coughing may be relieved with more moisture.
Create the Right Environment:
Whether you’re sick or not, the correct atmosphere can help you sleep better. However, because enough rest benefits your immune system, receiving the rest you require is even more critical. Most people prefer to sleep in a dark, quiet, and relaxed atmosphere.
Elevate your Head:
Congestion can be relieved by placing a few cushions under your chin and elevating your head.
Relax Before Going to Sleep:
Stress-free sleep is impossible given the current status of the world. Relaxing for a few minutes before bedtime is beneficial. Put down your phone and log out of social media. Instead, relax by listening to music, trying to read, or practicing deep breathing.
Also Read: Best Mattress for Arthritis
What Should I do If this isn’t Working?
If none of the tips above work for you, make an appointment with your doctor. They will talk to you about what you can do.
For a short time, some medicines can be used to break the cycle of poor sleep. Some can be bought in pharmacies, and others need a prescription from your doctor.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for insomnia has been beneficial (CBT-i). It may be offered online or by phone through your local “Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)” online. They may arrange for you to access a smartphone app that promotes healthy sleep patterns. You can self-refer to IAPT without seeing your GP.
If you can’t sleep because of disturbing recollections from your hospital stay, or if you’re having nightmares about it, tell your GP or another health expert (PTSD). Trauma-focused cognitive therapy (to-CBT) is an effective treatment for PTSD and is offered free through your local IAPT service.
You don’t need to see your doctor to refer yourself to an IAPT program in your area.