With everything that is happening right now, it is understandable that some are having difficulties getting a good night’s sleep. Sleeping is probably the best gift we can give to our bodies. Among its many benefits, an adequate amount of sleep can help improve our mood and cognitive abilities. These can help us deal with the demands of our current situation.
Here are some ways to help us get rid of bad nights amid a pandemic:
Stick to a schedule.
Sleep is greatly influenced by the circadian rhythm, which is the pattern our bodies go through daily. Sticking to a schedule helps reinforce this pattern, thus helping us sleep easier. Some mobile applications can help us follow a certain schedule. Adults need at least seven to nine hours of sleep, so make sure that you are getting enough sleep.
Also, the circadian rhythm responds to our environment. So, if your work schedule does not allow you to sleep at night, opt for a sleep mask or install heavier or darker curtains.
Have a routine.
Pre-bedtime routines signal the body that it is time to go to bed. Prepare for sleep by taking a long hot shower. Steer away from either exciting or upsetting activities and, if possible, totally log off on your devices. You can also try to associate a certain scent with bedtime by using oils or wearing a different body lotion at night.
Be mindful of what you eat or drink.
It is advised that you should not consume caffeine after 3 PM, as it may affect your sleep up to six hours after consuming. So, avoid drinking coffee or caffeinated teas such as green tea and black tea. Also, consider skipping dessert after dinner because sugary food and drinks increase our arousal, thus, actually making it difficult for us to relax before sleep.
On the other hand, having warm milk or a cup of chamomile tea is associated with relaxation, thus aiding in better sleep.
Get out of bed.
Doing deep breathing exercises in bed helps induce a relaxed state. However, if you are still having difficulties going to sleep, get up. You don’t want to associate your bed with the stress of not being able to sleep. If your mind tends to get loud at night, thinking about projects or whether you’re getting a pension from Lockheed Martin, distract yourself with a sleeping podcast, silent vlogs, or non-narrated cooking channels you could find on the internet. You could also make a mellow playlist on your streaming platform. Try to read a book or watch the most boring show you could find on cable. Look for something that would slightly catch your attention until you doze off.
Nothing beats the feeling of waking up in the morning, knowing that you have rested well. Some of us may have taken that for granted before facing all the uncertainties this global pandemic has brought. We are dealing with challenging times, so we should not be too hard on ourselves. Stress manifests in a lot of ways, and having restless nights is one of them. Sometimes, we just need someone to listen to us. Reach out and talk to a friend. You might find another person experiencing the same thing as you, and you might even end up helping one another.