COVID-19 pandemic brought many countries on lockdown and fear among people everywhere for their health.
In uncertain times like these, it’s important to do everything we can to remain healthy.
When it comes to the effective functioning of the immune system, sleep is critical.
Sleep also promotes emotional wellness and mental health, helps in beating back stress, depression, and anxiety.
Unfortunately, millions of people had problems with insomnia before the coronavirus, and the pandemic creates a host of new challenges even for people who didn’t use to have sleeping problems.
Undoubtedly, patients with the virus and front-line medical workers are most impacted by the disease. But as we’ve seen across the globe, indirect impacts have spread far and wide, and pose significant barriers to sleep.
Our lives have changed drastically. We have to stay at home most of the time, some of us may work from home, schools are closed, and our everyday routines are disrupted.
People who work from home might find themselves oversleeping in the morning.
Sleeping more than seven to eight hours per night can make waking up on time much more difficult, and can cause feeling groggy, irritable and unfocused throughout the day.
Additionally, anxiety regarding our health and the health of our loved ones and economic concerns also might disrupt our sleep.
Depression might kick in at times of self-isolation. Especially if your loved one is infected by COVID-19 or has died, depression may cause significant sleeping problems.
Greater family and work stress and excess screen time can have a detrimental impact on sleep, too.
Why is Sleep Important During a Pandemic?
Sleep boosts the immune system and strengthens our body’s defenses. Our mind works better when we get good sleep and children learn better. It improves our overall mental health. We need good-quality sleep because it improves literally all aspects of our health, and that is why it is worthy of our attention during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tips for Sleeping Well During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Establish a daily routine and stick to it. Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. Eat your meals at the same time every day. Have a routine before bed, like having a shower and reading, or anything that relaxes you.
Sleep and sex should be the only activities that take place in your bed. Don’t work from home stretched on your bed, it will confuse your mind. Your brain needs to associate the bed with sleeping activities only.
Expose yourself to natural light, even if the sun isn’t shining, step up on your balcony and enjoy the fresh air. Light-based cues have quite a positive effect on your circadian rhythm.
Avoid taking longer naps during the day, they can hinder your nighttime routine.
Stay active, regular exercises have positive effects on sleep and your health in general. Even though you might not feel like working out, it’s very important to maintain physically active.
Also, amid the pandemic crisis, we can find ourselves spending too much time reading online about the virus. Instead, read positive stories and limit your time for getting information about the pandemic. Bookmark one or two trusted news sites and visit them only during a limited, pre-set amount of time each day.
Kindness and connection have the ability to reduce stress and its harmful effects on mood and sleep. That is why we recommend keeping in touch with your loved ones in times of self-isolation. You can agree in advance with your friends and family to talk about other topics instead of the coronavirus pandemic.