The novel coronavirus or COVID-19 has spun the world upside down. Countries are under lockdown, the economy has stopped, and people fear for themselves and their loved ones.
With the unprecedented change at such a rapid pace, it is understandable that the importance of sleep goes undetected. However, as we adapt to staying home and healthy during COVID-19, there are steps you can take to improve the quality of your sleep.
What are some sleep-related challenges during a pandemic?
Millions of people suffered from insomnia before the virus. But unfortunately, coronavirus has created many new challenges even for people who previously had no sleep problems.
The change in lifestyle is not affecting everyone equally. Of course, patients with the virus and health professionals on the front line are burdened with the immediate effects of the disease. But as we have seen around the world, the effects have spread and created significant sleep barriers.
Why is sleep important, especially during this time?
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, sleep has become increasingly important because of its physical and mental health-related benefits.
- Sleep enables an effective immune system- A good night’s sleep strengthens our body’s defenses, and research states that inadequate sleep can hinder the effectiveness of vaccines.
- Sleep improves brain function- Our brain works better and contributes to complex thinking, learning, memory, and decision making when we sleep well. For adults and children who adapt to work and school at home, getting a good night’s sleep can help stay alert.
- Sleep improves mood- Lack of sleep can irritate a person, lower their energy levels, and cause or worsen feelings of depression.
- Sleep improves mental health- In addition to depression, research shows that lack of sleep can cause anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Steps to improve sleep during the pandemic
Set your schedule and routine
Establishing a routine can promote a sense of normalcy even at unusual times. It’s easier for the mind and body to adjust to a constant sleep schedule, which is why health experts have long recommended avoiding significant changes to your daily sleep hours.
Reserve your bed for sleeping
Sleep study centers emphasize the importance of getting sound sleep. Therefore, they suggest that sleep and sex are the only activities that should be carried out in your bed.
This also means work from home should not be done in bed and you don’t have to take your laptop to bed to watch a movie or TV series.
Changing the sheets frequently, inflating the pillows, and making the bed can keep your mattress fresh and create a comfortable and pleasant sleeping environment.
Check the light
Exposure plays a vital role in promoting healthy sleeping patterns. If you encounter distractions in your daily life, you may need to take steps so that light signals have a positive effect on your circadian rhythm.
Try spending time outdoors in natural light. Even if the sun is not bright, natural light has a positive effect on your daily rhythms. Many people think that outdoor weather is most beneficial in the mornings, and as an added bonus, it’s a chance to get some fresh air. Open all your windows and blinds to let light float in your home during the day.
Record screen time
Blue light emitted by electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, and computers has shown to interfere with the body’s natural processes for inducing sleep. Avoid using any device at least one hour before bed. You can also use device settings or special applications that reduce or filter blue light.
It’s anything but difficult to do pretty much anything with your cell phone. From taking care of your tabs to requesting food supplies, once-difficult undertakings can be finished in minutes.
In case you’re similar to numerous individuals, notwithstanding, you might be worried about the measure of time you’re spending on your telephone. Fortunately, there are various incredible applications that can assist you with increasing a little parity. Here are our six most loved applications to assist you with diminishing screen time.
It’s easy to ignore exercising frequently with everything happening in the world, but regular daily activity has many important benefits, including sleep.
If you can walk/jog while maintaining a safe distance from other people, that’s wonderful. If not, there are online classes for all training types and levels. Many gyms, as well as yoga and dance studios, are offering live classes during this time of social distancing for free.
Keeping up a functioning way of life can assist you with remaining sound over the long haul. Every day physical activity is key in forestalling incessant or hazardous ailment like coronary illness, stroke, diabetes, stoutness, back torment, osteoporosis, and melancholy.
Practice kindness and social connections
It may seem insignificant to your sleep, but kindness and a sense of belonging can reduce stress and its harmful effects on mood and sleep.
Read on some positive stories about how people helped each other through the pandemic. You can use technology to stay in touch with friends and family so you can maintain social relationships even if you need social distancing.
Use relaxation techniques
Finding ways to relax can help improve the quality of your sleep. Deep breathing, stretching, yoga, mindfulness meditation, calming music, and quiet reading are just a few examples of relaxation techniques you can incorporate into your routine.
For a considerable lot of us, unwinding implies slumping on the love seat and daydreaming before the TV toward the finish of a distressing day. Yet, this does little to diminish the harming impacts of pressure.
Or maybe, you have to initiate your body’s normal unwinding reaction, a condition of profound rest that slows down pressure eases back your breathing and pulse, brings down your circulatory strain, and brings your body and psyche again into balance. You can do this by rehearsing unwinding strategies, for example, profound breathing, contemplation, cadenced exercise, yoga
It is best to be in contact with your doctor if you have serious sleep problems. Many doctors are available via email or telemedicine to allow patients to address issues without having to visit their office physically.