We should all feel well-rested during lockdown if we have more time to prioritize sleeping. But it’s not only you who is feeling tired.
There are several good reasons to fall asleep on the sofa at night, struggle to get up in the morning, or yawning all day after being self-isolated during the coronavirus epidemic. Chair of the Sleep Health Foundation, Prof Dorothy Bruck stated that increased stress and anxiety during these times are the main contributors to disturbed sleep.
Stress could be caused by the never-ending news cycle. Some people may feel more anxious if they are housebound. Lack of exercise, less outside light, and increased alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine intake can all disrupt your sleep patterns.
There are many things you can do in order to get better sleep habits. These are some tips to try:
Try to get up at the same time every day
Prof Bruck stated that one of the best ways to improve your sleep quality is to wake up every day at the same time. She said that people who study sleep often believe that the waking time is the anchor.
You will have better sleep if you are able to keep your wake time consistent. It’s great to aim to get up at 7 a.m. every morning. We’re all used to sleeping in on weekends, but it shouldn’t be more than an hour. Otherwise, you could start changing your body’s clock.
Your body clock is synchronized by waking up at the same time every morning. This allows you to be alert in the morning, and helps you feel prepared for bed in the evening.
Morning light is your best friend
Prof Bruck suggests that if you have trouble getting up in the morning and staying on a consistent sleep schedule, it might be worth exposing yourself to sunlight. Bright light is good for alertness. If you don’t have direct sunlight, open your curtains and let in the light. This is because light reduces melatonin and stimulates alertness in the body.
Prof Bruck recommends eating breakfast near a sunny window, or taking a walk in the morning if you have a problem with your body clock.
Stop engaging in unhelpful sleeping habits
Some people sleep too much. This includes sleeping in the mornings, taking naps throughout the day, and going to bed earlier than usual. Prof Bruck stated that if you are getting only 8 hours sleep per night, then you should aim to get 8 hours while you’re at home.
Even if you feel tired or cold, it is important to avoid falling into your dreams too early. Extra sleep can lead to more wakefulness. This can lead to a vicious cycle of unproductive sleep.
Establish a night-time routine
A night-time routine can be a great way for your body to signal that it is winding down and getting ready for sleep. Dr. Bruck recommends that people who are having trouble sleeping get to sleep by practicing relaxation techniques like mindfulness or meditation before they go to bed.
A regular night-time routine that includes getting up and going to bed at the same time every day can help you manage your insomnia.
Don’t worry over lost sleep
Good news: Even if you have had a few bad nights, your body can recover quickly from it.
Prof Bruck stated that if people experience two to three nights of sleep deprivation for reasons beyond their control, then if they get just one or two nights of rest, they will recover.
“Everybody has bad nights, and it is okay to not worry about them. And sometimes, we sleep more than what we think. It’s not easy to tell if we are awake or asleep. Poor sleepers have a particularly difficult time judging this.”