Why is it important to have good sleep during the Coronavirus epidemic?
Concerns about the loss of control and insecurity are understandable, as we remain locked up at home for too long during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the natural response to fear is understandable, too much anxiety can be problematic. Instead of wasting time and energy worrying, why not focus that energy on what you can control, namely taking care of yourself. Focusing on sleep is natural in taking care of yourself, because we know that getting enough sleep has a good effect on your immune system.
Can sleep help my immune system fight the coronavirus?
Getting enough sleep supports the immune system, which reduces the risk of infection and can improve outcomes in people battling the virus. On the other hand, sleep deprivation weakens the body's defense system and makes people more vulnerable to virus infection.
Can sleep help improve my mood and productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic?
It is not easy to function in the best way without easy access to our usual coping methods (eg social support, exercise, etc.) while isolating ourselves most of the time. Adequate sleep can maximize your potential for better days in these circumstances. Optimal sleep helps regulate mood, improve brain function and increase energy and overall productivity during the day.
Why do so many people have trouble sleeping during isolation?
Increased stress and information overload can keep the mind active and increase the body's response to arousal, causing insomnia.
People spend a lot of time in front of the screens (protests, news updates, information about COVID-19, social connections). The blue light from these screens tells the brain to stop producing the sleep hormone melatonin, which can lead to sleep problems.
Also, the loss of structure of the day can upset the patterns of night sleep. Improper periods of sleep and waking up can affect the desire to sleep, making the ability to fall asleep more difficult to predict.
Finally, depressed mood, the tons of sitting time, and low energy can increase long naps, making it difficult to fall asleep at night.
What can help me sleep better during a coronavirus pandemic?
Sleep is crucial at this time. Here's how changing habits can help you improve your sleep:
Create a sleep schedule.
Think about your sleep needs (experiment with different amounts), then prioritize that amount of sleep each night. While six or nine hours may be appropriate for some adults, most require seven to eight hours. We are not obliged to participate in social activities until late, so going to bed "on time" is more realistic now - take advantage of this.
Limit the time in front of the screen at night.
Turn off your devices an hour before bed. Let your mobile phone charge in the kitchen so you are not tempted to look at any updates.
Find time for yourself.
Define bedtime as "time for me" without engaging electronically. Minimize conversations and calls during this hour. This is not easy, especially if you have small children at home, but it is important. We all need at least an hour a day for ourselves. Take a hot bath or shower, play soothing music, try to meditate or read a book or a magazine.
Reduce the nap in the afternoon.
Daytime sleep should be less than 30 minutes and before 14:00. If you have trouble falling asleep, avoid taking a nap.
Try breathing exercises.
Use ten slow deep breaths to fall asleep and get back to sleep. This should be a slow inhalation through the nose for 3 to 4 seconds and a slow exhalation through the mouth for 3 to 4 seconds.
Improve your sleeping environment.
Make sure that the atmosphere in your bedroom is conducive to sleep. Keep the temperature in the room cool, try an eye mask or lower the curtains and try white noise to block outside noise from the street.
Achieve stress control.
Many people have less access to their usual coping strategies such as spending time with friends and going to the gym. Try new activities and hobbies - drawing, writing, photography, indoor exercise videos and more. Find ways to keep in touch with friends and family through technology. Consider therapy if stress feels uncontrollable.
Structure your daily schedule.
Engage in daily activities (eg work, exercise, eating, socializing) at certain times to build a structure in your days. This will maintain regular bedtime and waking time. Set reminders on your phone, according to your schedule, and don't forget to turn off all devices an hour before bed.
What else do I need to know about my sleep?
While sleep is important, try not to worry about it! Anxiety about sleep simply becomes more stressful. Instead, do your best to go to bed on time and follow these tips if you have problems. Remember to always go back to controlling the things that depend on you. You cannot control the result of your efforts, only the efforts themselves.