How to Get Restful Sleep While Living in a Pandemic
The news and the government have been telling the public that the most important thing to do amid the coronavirus is to wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay at home if you are experiencing symptoms of the virus. What they fail to mention, however, is that not doing something about your coronavirus induced anxiety can lead to bad sleep. Learning what you can do to improve your sleep during this pandemic will put you in a better mindset and give you a more positive outlook every day.
Coronavirus and Bad Sleep
Not getting a good night’s sleep has the potential to destroy your immune system, making it harder to fight off symptoms if you end up contracting the virus. However, the anxiety, panic, and depression from this virus can make it difficult to fall asleep. Countless worries flood our minds day in and day out, as we wonder how long this pandemic will last. Coping with these fears appropriately to ensure your nights are filled with restful, immune-boosting sleep is crucial. Even though sleep won’t necessarily decrease your chances of contracting the virus, it will support your body’s ability to fight it off. Additionally, sleep has a positive impact on mental health and general wellbeing, factors that require conscious care during these difficult times.
Stop Binge-Watching Late at Night
Being out of work and staying under quarantine may give you the chance to catch up on your shows. With several streaming sites readily accessible, you could end up spending all day watching shows and movies from your television. While there is nothing wrong with doing this to fill up time during the day and to help you relax, it is not good to binge watch TV late at night. Electronics expose you to blue light that suppresses nighttime melatonin production. It is best to read under dim light as reading is more productive for your brain and you will not be exposed to such strong light. If you are on your phone, tablet, or computer watching your favorite programs, consider turning on the night shift settings to decrease exposure to light that could negatively impact your sleep cycle.
Experience Natural Light
It is important to be exposed to bright, natural light to align healthy sleep-wake cycles. Artificial light may not give you the same effect. Consider getting outside and soaking up some of the natural light that the sun offers you. You can accomplish this by taking a walk in the morning or sitting on your deck and relaxing during lunch. Just make sure that when you are outside, you maintain a minimum of six feets distance from others. If you are working from home, try to sit by the window with the blinds open. The same can be said when you are reading, working on a puzzle, or talking to a friend on the phone.
Limit News Watching
During these unprecedented times, millions of Americans are glued to the news, anxiously waiting to hear about the latest coronavirus updates. Not only do people want to know if things are getting better, but they are also interested in the latest health recommendations and precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and healthy. If the news is increasing your symptoms of depression or anxiety, stop yourself from watching too much of it. Limit news consumption to ten minutes a few times daily. Stressful news footage can stay with you as you try to go to sleep. Be informed without being glued to the news.
Wake Up Consistently
With school and work getting canceled, many find themselves sleeping at unusual hours which can disrupt sleep-wake cycles. The best way to get your sleep-wake cycle back on track is to set a time to go to bed and a time to wake up. Remember that it takes about 15 minutes to fall asleep, so plan accordingly. Go back to the regular sleep schedule you had before the pandemic started.
Workout at Home
It is important to be physically tired at the end of a long day for a more restful sleep. Exercising is a great way to achieve this. There are a lot of gyms that are offering free apps for download. For example, Peloton digital app has equipment-free classes like outdoor runs, yoga, and meditation. Barry’s Bootcamp has free bodyweight classes on their Instagram pages and IGTV app. You can also go on YouTube or find some workout DVDs to turn on at home. Anything you can do to get yourself moving.
Do not use alcohol as a tool to help you fall asleep. While reducing anxiety and seeking that sense of sleepiness induced by alcohol may seem enticing, the reality is that alcohol produces a restless sleep that is not ideal for your health or wellbeing. Often, drinking alcohol causes people to wake up more often during the night, not to mention the hangover it can cause the next morning. More concerning still is the fact that, if gone unchecked, consistent alcohol consumption can result in dependency. Fighting addiction while being quarantined at home is extremely difficult. As such, you shouldn’t use an unhealthy habit to cope while being stuck at home.
Do Not Worry About Your Sleeping Disorder
It is normal to worry about not getting enough sleep, especially when you know how important adequate sleep is for the mind, body, and spirit. If you find yourself struggling to sleep, try to practice calming coping techniques and avoid panic. Continue with your usual routine, and make sure you get movement and fresh air into your day. Eventually, your body will find it’s groove, so long as you stay patient and calm in the interim.
At Silver Lining Recovery, we prioritize a safe and relaxed environment to promote a calm and supportive recovery experience. Our professional staff members are trained in creating customized treatment plans, specific to the individualized needs and goals of our clients. Our team seeks to identify and treat the underlying causes and conditions that led to addiction, as a means of supporting long-lasting recovery. With numerous services and treatment modalities, including EMDR, CBT, DBT, and other alternative healing methods, we are confident in our ability to create a plan that will work for you. Call us today for more information, at (833) 847-6984.