It is a well-accepted fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on our sleeping cycle. Many have become nocturnal while others feel like sleeping all day and night.
It inspired many memes and jokes on social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
‘Sleep on It’, a Canadian campaign launched in September 2019 by the Canadian Sleep and Circadian Network (CSCN), the Canadian Sleep Society (CSS) through their website reported that, “It is normal that the COVID-19 crisis can cause stress, anxiety, fear, and even depression. It is also possible that your sleep will be disrupted during this time, no matter what your age. During this period of upheaval, sleep is our ally and a protective force at our fingertips. Let’s use it”.
Sleep disorders require your immediate attention as it concerns your physical, mental, and behavioral well-being. Having a good night’s sleep is important to build immunity against COVID-19.
“Sleeping well enhances our psychological and physical resilience and allows us to better manage stress, anxiety, and uncertainty in a crisis situation like the one we are currently experiencing,” says Charles Morin, a professor in the psychology department at Laval University, director of the Centre d’étude des troubles du sommeil at the research center CERVO and Canada Research Chair in Sleeping Disorders.
Thus, here are some tips to take to restore your normal sleep cycle that lockdown has disrupted:
Fix a bedtime and waking time
During the lockdown, sleeping well must be made a priority. Establish a fixed bedtime and wake-up time as due to our biological clock, our body and mind respond positively to normal daily activities.
If you have difficulty sleeping, then, try going to bed 30 to 40 minutes earlier than your normal routine. Wake up on time. Don’t oversleep. Use an alarm clock if needed.
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Avoid intake of heavy foods and caffeine before bedtime
Avoid caffeine as it stimulates your body and impedes your ability to sleep at night.
Heavy, fatty or spicy meals before going to sleep must be avoided at all costs.
These meals that fill us up sometimes cause a slower rate of indigestion or gastric reflux and lead to poor quality of sleep. Eat light and nutritious food before going to bed.
Exercising regularly has a positive impact on our sleep. Exercising raises your core body temperature, increases your heart rate, stimulates your body by releasing epinephrine (adrenaline), and reduces anxiety and stress.
You can find a multitude of online videos and apps that teach you various exercises. However, you should avoid rigorous physical activity just before bedtime.
Don’t use electronic devices before bedtime
It is normal that you wish to stay updated about the current situation of the world but watching or reading such news multiple times a day may cause stress and interfere with your ability to sleep.
The blue light on your phone lowers your sleep hormone called melatonin. This leads to a “late body clock” as the release of melatonin lags behind, and results in the development of “Delayed sleep phase disorder”.
Interact with your family and friends
Share your thoughts, ideas, and beliefs with your friends and family members. It makes you feel that you are loved and reduces anxiety.
With technological advancement, it is easy to connect with your kith and kin. It is possible to speak to friends and family by telephone or by video conferencing.
Establish a comfortable environment for sleeping
Clean your bed before going to bed. Your bed mattresses must be comfortable enough. Temperature setting must be suitable for sleeping.
Keep the room well-ventilated. Eliminate light and all the unpleasant distracting noises from your sleep setting.
Expose yourself to light during the day
During the day, keep your windows open and get some fresh air and exterior light. It stimulates your body and keeps your body clock on time. If possible, take your morning cup of tea or coffee on a balcony, terrace, or your personal garden.
In the evening, keep lights dim as it stimulates melatonin production and therefore enhances your ability to fall asleep.
Develop an optimistic attitude
Maintaining hope in such testing times is of prime importance. Optimism provides us with the noblest form of courage and undying faith in ourselves.
Engage in positive self-talk and nurture your inner self while at home. Read books and cultivate good habits. Video call your friends. Don’t let the feelings of loneliness and gloom engulf you.
Hope sustains life. A famous couplet from Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man embodies this universal truth. It says:
“Hope springs eternal in the human breast
Man never is, but always to be blest”.
This means that people can always find a reason to hope, even in the bleakest situations.
We must remember that it is absolutely fine if you are facing a problem sleeping at night in times of stress.
However, it is important to follow the above-mentioned suggestions to prevent this anxiety-induced difficulty in sleeping from turning into full-fledged chronic insomnia, sleep apnea, or any other sleep disorder.
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This post is tagged under: Covid 19, exercise, positive thinking, sleep, sleep cycle covid-19, sleep cycle COVID-19 lockdown, sleep cycles, sleep on it, sleep problem covid-19, sleep problem lockdown, insomnia, disturbed sleep pattern, how to overcome, how to break