Call it “Coronasomnia” or “Insomnavirus,” getting a good night's sleep during the pandemic has been challenging for many of us.
We’re all aware that anxiety can lead to disturbed sleep patterns, so it should come as no surprise that a global virus, multiple lockdowns, home-schooling, new routines and, for many, a reduction in outdoor activities and exercise, are contributing to a global bout of insomnia.
Try these tips to get a good night’s sleep
- Create a new routine that works for the way you’re living and working today, so your body gets used to when it should expect to be in bed and fall asleep in these altered circumstances.
- Include eating well, drinking water and outdoor exercise in your daily routine.
- If at all possible, try not to work in your bedroom, which can cause your brain to associate the room with work rather than sleep.
- Drink less alcohol and caffeine. If you've found your consumption of either of these rising over the last year, try to reduce your levels to pre-pandemic amounts. With alcohol, try to keep at least two consecutive days per week alcohol-free, and when you do drink, try to cut your drink by half.
- There’s an endless variety of meditation and mindfulness recordings to help sleep, anxiety levels, and stress and alcohol reduction. Find ones that you like and listen to them in bed before you go to sleep.
- Before going to bed, try a relaxing bath or some simple relaxation or stretching exercises, especially if you've been stuck at a desk all day.
- Create a calming atmosphere in your bedroom by using light dimmers and lavender-scented pillow or room sprays. Ensure your room isn't too hot or noisy. Try an open window and earplugs to help you get a better night's sleep.
- If you're woken by your mind racing with tomorrow's to-do list, keep a notepad and pen by your bed. Get your worries out of your mind and onto a piece of paper.
- If you want to watch TV before bed, try not to watch something that will cause you anxiety, such as the news. If possible, try to watch something light and entertaining, or switch the TV off altogether and listen to a meditation or calming music instead.
- Remove all devices from phones to iPads and even fitness trackers from hand’s reach.
- Try a sleep or breathing technique to keep your mind clear of anxious thoughts. For example, four breaths in - hold for four - four breaths out - repeat. This help allow your brain to transition into rest time.