5 Ways to get good sleep during a pandemic
Your hands are not the only thing you need to keep clean right now. Most people's sleep hygiene, another name for your sleep-related habits, has become downright dirty because of the global coronavirus pandemic. Although the best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 are social distance, isolation and hand washing, it is also essential to get back to the basics of good health in this emergency - and that includes having a good night's sleep.
Not keeping a good night's sleep lowers your immunity. With the tensions in our health system, now is not the time when you want to deal with every preventable virus or bacterial infection. Of course, the anxiety, panic and depression associated with the global pandemic make this a Catch-22 for many. Good sleep is vital to healthy immunity, but more and more people have trouble sleeping. However, some of these sleep problems are a direct result of the changes that many people have now made in their daily lives.
COVID-19 is also a reminder that good health involves many interrelated and complex variables. This helps us understand why the presence of underlying medical conditions tends to affect the course of the coronavirus in the affected person. Although good sleep will not immunize you against the virus, the current pandemic is a good reminder for all of us to get back to the basics of good health.
Here are our five tips to follow in order to sleep well during the coronavirus pandemic:
1. Stop watching too much tv, movies and series at night.
While movies can distract your attention from the pandemic during the day, don't watch too much at night. The electronics emit higher levels of blue light, which is especially powerful in suppressing the production of melatonin at night. Instead, read in low light as it will not adversely affect sleep.
While watching, turn off the HD streaming. People now watch so much streaming TV that experts worry we won't have the bandwidth for vital online features. Many platforms like Netflix have the ability to turn off HD. If you use your phone, tablet or computer to check the latest news, turn on the night mode setting. This will reduce (but not eliminate) the light, which negatively affects your sleep.
2. Expose yourself to natural light - especially in the morning.
The blue light that disturbs sleep at night has the opposite effect in the morning and during the day. Bright light actually helps balance out the healthy sleep and wake cycles, but most artificial light is not strong enough to have a positive effect.
It's good to expose yourself to the morning and early afternoon skies. Take a short morning walk or jog in the neighborhood while keeping a distance from other people. If you work from home, place your desk at the window. Open the blinds. Sit in the window. Knit, read, or complete crossword puzzles while exposing your eyes to this type of healthy light.
3. Minimize news watching.
We are all glued to the news. The details change every day, so stay tuned for the latest health recommendations. Don't look at cable or local news as this will ultimately increase the risk of developing an anxiety disorder.
Reading the latest recommendations for 10 minutes several times a day is better for your sleep than watching 10 hours of news a day. After 9/11, stress reactions similar to post-traumatic stress disorder were present in people in the United States who were not even close to the Twin Towers. These stress reactions can prevent good sleep. Find the perfect balance: Be informed without worrying and glued to the sofa watching TV nonstop.
4. Keep up with your bedtime routine
Remember that your biological rhythm of melatonin, which rises during the night and falls during the day, is designed to function in a 24-hour rhythm consistent with natural light. The coronavirus does not make us immune to this natural phenomenon.
With the cancellation of school and work, many people sleep whenever they want, which disrupts the sleep-wake cycle. One of the simplest and easiest ways to help your sleep-wake cycle get back to its rhythm is to set a bedtime and wake-up time that you regularly adhere to. Go back to the times before the coronavirus. Consistency is key.
Melatonin can be effective in helping you adjust to your sleep-wake cycle. With the increasing amount of television we consume, melatonin levels are likely to be lower. If you have trouble returning to the sleep regimen before the coronavirus, try a melatonin pill 20 minutes before bedtime, especially if you have problems with falling asleep.
5. Do home workouts using apps
When people have trouble sleeping, they tend to focus on what happens at night. What you do with your body during the day is just as important. Being physically tired at the end of a long day makes sleeping easier and more relaxed. You will burn a few extra calories while doing housework, but you really need to add exercise to really improve your sleep.
Many fitness instructors already offer free, app-based workouts. Free YouTube videos do not require the purchase of additional equipment or treadmills, and there are classes without any necessary gear such as gymnastics, yoga and meditation. There are many workout apps that offer free classes and tips for keeping yourself fit. Many other local gyms offer free workouts on YouTube or online streaming on Instagram, so check out their websites. Also see if you keep old workout DVDs if you still have a player.