Carole Blog #5
Sleeping during lockdown
It is recognised that some issues we are all suffering with during lockdown includes disruption to our sleeping patterns. You may think you are sleeping for longer, but do not feel rested or you may simply be finding it hard to drop off to sleep. One thing is sure, you are not the only one!
If a lack of sleep goes on for more than a few nights, it can really take its toll on your emotional wellbeing. High quality sleep needs a good bedtime routine, and the recommended amount of sleep that we need each night is between seven and nine hours. Here are 8 tips for a restful night’s sleep.
- Set the scene
It is hard to sleep if you are not comfortable. Making sure your room is a good temperature, the light is low and noise levels are kept to a minimum can all help. Open the window or turn on a fan to keep air moving through the room. Blackout blinds can ensure light levels are kept low and you are not disturbed by an early summer sunrise!
Reading a book, meditation or other calming activities can help our brains to relax and let go of stimulating thoughts, making it easier for us to slip into sleep.
- Keep a routine
There are many factors in our lives that can disturb our sleep rhythms, but keeping your sleep and wake times set can help to tell your body when to expect sleep.
- Go tech-free
The blue light emitted from screens such as phones, tablets and even the TV can suppress the production of melatonin with is vital for sleep. The stimulation from technological devices can play havoc with our circadian rhythms and make it harder to both fall asleep and stay asleep.
Exercise is important for maintaining healthy energy levels and making our bodies tired enough to rest. Too little exercise can convince our bodies and minds that we are not actually tired. However don’t exercise too close to bedtime as the positive chemicals released by the brain can act as a stimulant, making us more alert for a period of time.
- Write it down
Sometime we just cannot let go of a thought that hounds us, or that list of things we need to do the next day. Keeping a pad and pen next to the bed will let you write down the important things so you don’t have to worry about them and can relax into sleep.
- Seek help
If it is pain keeping you awake at night, and no amount of relaxation can help then it may be time to see a professional who can help to fix the physical problem and restore your sleep. It is safe to visit the doctors so do not put off making that all important appointment.
- If you really cannot sleep, stop trying.
It sounds counter-intuitive but trying to force sleep when your brain and body are not ready for it can stimulate your senses and make it even harder to sleep. Go for a walk around the house, make yourself a hot drink (preferably without caffeine), try relaxing in a different environment, and then try again to sleep. You may save yourself hours of restlessness.