7 Ways to Sleep Better
Getting through lockdown and remaining positive can be difficult enough and having trouble sleeping can make it even harder. Although many of us are very much looking forward to lockdown rules being relaxed more and more, for some this could bring new uncertainties and concerns, leading to disturbed nights. Sleep helps to calm the mind, whereas lack of it can drastically affect our mood and increase stress levels. If you are struggling, here are a few tips to help you sleep better:
Try to maintain a consistent sleep routine
Go to bed and set an alarm to wake up at the same time each day, even if you don’t need to get up. Having a routine brings certainty and structure to our lives, which helps us feel more in control, and this is especially important in times of massive change. So, try to eat meals, exercise and sleep at roughly the same times each day so you get into a routine.
Also, if you haven’t slept well, you might find that a reasonably early start means you’re more tired in the evening, setting you up for a better night’s sleep. It will also ease you back into getting up for work, when the time comes.
Let in the morning light
Draw your curtains or open your blinds as soon as you wake up to let in natural light and help your body adjust.
Busy days, calm evenings
Try to be active during the day (whether that’s exercising, cleaning, cooking or working from home) to burn off energy and ease anxiety. Then relax and unwind in the evening, watching TV, having a bath or giving yourself a little pamper.
Don’t bring stress into your bedroom
Avoid working from your bed. And if you are finding it difficult to sleep, don’t force yourself to keep trying – leave the room for a while and try to relax elsewhere, listen to soothing music, read a bit, make a warm drink (but no caffeine!)
Limit news & social scrolling
If anxiety related to coronavirus is keeping you awake, try not to check the news too often and especially not before bed, and avoid discussing it too much. As always, don’t use electronic devices before bed and turn off your notifications – remember that communication is important during isolation, but scrolling through social media is not and might be contributing to your lack of sleep!
Create the right conditions
Make your bedroom and sleeping conditions right for you. Some of us need complete silence and darkness, with blackout blinds, an eye mask and ear plugs! But for others, the sound of the radio, a podcast or white noise can be comforting. Try to avoid TV as it emits blue light which can hinder sleep.
If you feel you need to sleep in the day to make up for a bad night, a 10-20 minute power nap in the middle of the day could help you feel better (no longer than 25 minutes though, or you’ll feel sluggish).
Figure out what works for you. The most important thing is to be kind to yourself, stay positive and keep going. Things will change again, as they have before, and life will get easier.
Find out more:
Trouble Sleeping? – NHS
eBook/Book: ‘The Complete Guide To A Good Night’s Sleep by Carmel Harrington
Help if you snore (or have to put up with it!) plus fun facts about sleep & why it’s so important – especially before exams
How to…Power Through the Day on Very Little Sleep