How to prevent the COVID Pandemic and Lockdown from disturbing your sleep
The COVID pandemic continues to cause disruption all across the world and you may not be surprised to hear about how it may affect your sleep. A recent study carried out by market research company Ipsos MORI and King's College London revealed that nearly two-thirds of the public reported some negative impact on their sleep, showing just how unsettling the pandemic and lockdown measures have been.
However some respondents in this study reported they were sleeping more and feeling better for it; but how are they doing it?
Healthy routine, healthy sleep
When you have a schedule based around your work, it’s easier to maintain than when your work hours have been reduced or you are on furlough. Without work, the disruption can play havoc on your sleeping pattern with late nights and naps sending your circadian rhythm into a tizzy.
The best thing you can do is to try and maintain your previous sleeping pattern – getting to bed and rising at your normal times. Avoid naps during the daytime as well – try going on a walk instead.
With various restrictions in place it can be difficult to know what exercise you’re allowed to do – but generally everyone is allowed out to walk or jog in their neighbourhood. The good news is, by simply venturing outside your front door, your body will reward you by maintaining melatonin levels – this is the hormone that regulates our sleep pattern.
Manage your stress
It feels like constant questions in your head, “When will this all be over?” The fear of the unknown can cause a lot of anxiety in all areas of our lives – for our families, our jobs and our health. And it seems we are reminded every minute of the day on social media and on the news. Managing stress can become a skill to learn in lockdown while you have more time to do so – there are so many outlets for stress that people swear by: yoga, meditation, reading, learning something new. The main thing you can do, is find an outlet that works for you and nurture it into a healthy habit or hobby. This will help to keep your mood balanced, resulting in a healthier sleep.
Keep your bedroom as a safe haven
One big problem with working from home is the ‘where’? Kitchen table, sofa, new desk? One area that should be off limits is your bedroom. This is because your mind associates your bedroom with sleep and relaxation. Bringing the stresses of work into your bedroom can lead to a disruption in your sleeping pattern.