If you have trouble sleeping -- or are being treated for a sleep disorder, you may find your sleep disturbed once again. Fortunately, there are things you can do to get restful sleep, even during these difficult times.
1. Napping, the right way
Now that you’re spending more time at home, it may be tempting to take naps. Napping can help reduce stress, but avoid taking naps that last more than 30 minutes and ensure you take them before 3 p.m. If you feel drowsy, get up and stretch, deep-breathe, or put on some music to get your body moving. A little of physical activity is the best way to fight drowsiness.
2. Work out often
Frequent exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. There are workouts you can do at home during lockdown: yoga, dancing, or indoor walking are some of the options. However, don’t exercise right before bedtime, as you may find it hard to wind down.
3. Cut-off time for checking the news
It’s important to stay informed about COVID-19, but it may be wise to set a cut-off time for pandemic-related news. Resist the urge to check social media for updates.</span
4. Train your internal clock
During the pandemic, you may be staying up until later than usual chatting or texting with friends or relatives. However, it’s best to train your internal clock to go to bed at the same time every day.
5. Bedroom lighting
The sleep cycle is very sensitive to light. Dim and warm lighting is conducive to sleep, but ideally your bedroom should be completely dark.
6. No electronics
Avoid exposure to blue light from electronic devices like mobile phones, e-readers, or tablets, as this can alter your circadian rhythm and make your body think it’s still daytime.
7. Pre-bed ritual
Do something relaxing right before bed, and do it every night. This can be self-massage, a short aromatherapy session, taking a bath, or listening to soothing music, reading a book.
8. Review your caffeine intake
If you’re feeling more anxious than usual, you may also become more sensitive to caffeine. Make sure you don’t have any caffeinated drinks at least 8 hours before bedtime – or consider quitting caffeine for a while.
9. No alcohol before bed
Many people think a glass of wine before bed helps them fall asleep. But its sleep-inducing effect wears off quickly, and often causes frequent awakenings and poor sleep quality.
10. Light dinners
Certain foods can interfere with sleep hormones. Some of the things to avoid at dinner time are pasta, baked goods, sugary snacks, and fried foods. Instead, go for light dinners high in protein and in healthy fats.
Some drugs can cause insomnia as they may contain stimulants, so you may want to contact your doctor to discuss alternatives that aren’t disruptive to your sleep.
12. Step up your sleep apnea therapy
If you suffer from sleep apnea, clean your masks and devices thoroughly every day so your therapy is optimal.
You can call SleepQuest at any time, to talk with a sleep specialist via video conferencing.
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