Given the uncertainty that our world currently faces with the threat of COVID-19, it’s hardly surprising to think that you might have trouble sleeping. This is particularly true if you’re faced with the added confusion and restriction of being under lockdown.
While maintaining a good sleeping pattern might not seem important while you’re trapped at home doing nothing, it’s vital for your long term health. More routine and restful sleep allows your body to recharge and repair itself while you slumber. This helps strengthen your immune system and makes you more resilient against infections.
Now more than ever, it’s vital that you sleep well and practice other self-care to ensure that you’re as healthy as possible if the worst should happen. If you’re unsure where to start, check out these helpful tips and guidelines about getting a good night’s sleep during lockdown below.
Limit Your News Intake
When disaster strikes, we often find ourselves buried under breaking stories and constantly rolling news cycles. The internet adds to this stress by giving us access to a vast number of unregulated sources with conflicting information.
It can be challenging to step away as we become increasingly stressed and confused about what to believe. This stress can subsequently contribute to sleepless nights full of anxiety.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to limit your news intake to once or twice a day from trusted sources such as WHO or CDC. This will help you keep up to date with the latest guidance without being drowned by speculation or others’ anxiety. In turn, this will help you sleep better because you have a more practical understanding of the risk you face without worrying about the unknown.
Develop a Wind-Down Routine
In order to sleep well, it’s essential that we relax before we go to sleep. So it makes sense to focus on doing relaxing activities such as meditation, taking a warm bath, or reading before going to bed.
Use your favourite relaxing hobbies to develop a wind-down routine where you put aside your interfering electronic devices for the night. Also, think about how you can make your sleeping space more relaxing. Some of these things might include dimming the lights, playing relaxing music, or even burning soothing essential oils, such as lavender.
Developing a good wind-down routine will help prevent your brain from becoming too overstimulated and will help you fall asleep quicker.
Consider What You Sleep On
Did you know that on average, you should aim to replace your mattress every 10-15 years? That’s because the mattress deteriorates and becomes far less comfortable over time. Should you not replace it, you’ll soon find yourself in a vicious cycle of not getting to sleep comfortably and then waking up feeling sore and restless.
In thisoldhouse.com blog post, they mention that ‘one of the healthiest sleep positions for your back and spine, the wrong mattress can potentially leave you waking up with aches and pains’. Spine discomfort during sleep is incredibly deliberating to its sufferers and can begin with or be made worse because of a bad or old mattress. Consider investing in a new mattress if you can to help you wake up more well-rested and pain-free.
Write Down Your Worries
One of the worst aspects of this lockdown is the possibility that we can’t go and socialize with our friends and family as we usually would. This means that we can’t talk through our worries with them as we normally would, in part, because we might fear adding to their own anxieties.
Instead of letting your worries consume you and prevent you from sleeping as you constantly flip through them in your mind, consider keeping a diary to express all your feelings in. It might sound like something that isn’t for you, but it can be incredibly therapeutic.
As you write down your thoughts, you should find that your worries gradually melt away, and you find yourself able to sleep better. Don’t worry about being a bad writer; just let your thoughts flow and see what comes up.
Beware of Naps
When we don’t sleep well and feel tired the next day, it can be tempting to take a nap during the day to try and make up for this. However, if you nap too often or too long, it can be seriously detrimental to your ability to sleep come nighttime.
Instead of relying on naps, try and focus on creating a set bedtime for yourself and sticking to it. If you end up not keeping to it, try to get through the next day without napping, and you’ll find that you’ll be more than ready for sleep at bedtime.
Bad sleeping habits make us feel rough and are detrimental to our long-term health, so it’s essential to sleep well regularly. Using the above tips in this post, you’ll find yourself feeling more relaxed and able to sleep better despite the current lockdown situation.