Tips for sleeping better amid high-stress situations
Is it harder for you to fall asleep lately? Are you waking up more throughout the night? You're not the only one. Stressful situations, like the COVID-19 pandemic, can disrupt sleep patterns. Since sleep is crucial for our brains and bodies to recharge, here are some things you can try to feel more rested and prepared to manage the effects of COVID-19 at work and home.
Create a bedtime routine. A consistent, calming nighttime routine lets your body know that it's time for bed, which can encourage better sleep.
Try breathing techniques to calm your mind. Can't turn off your racing mind? Relaxation breathing techniques, like this one, can help quiet your thoughts and make it easier to fall asleep.
Avoid screens. At least an hour before bed, put away all electronic devices. The blue light they emit can hamper sleep.
Limit alcohol and heavy meals. Alcohol and heavy, big or spicy meals can disrupt sleep by causing indigestion. Aim to eat two to three hours before bed to allow time for your stomach to digest.
Designate the bedroom for sleep. It may be tempting to eat or work from the comfort of your bed but designating your bedroom as a sleep-only zone will help your body recognize the purpose of the room.
Create an optimal environment for sleep. If possible, keep your bedroom dark and quiet. This tells your brain it's time to sleep. Turning the temperature down to between 60 and 68 degrees also can encourage better sleep.
Exercise regularly. Exercise is linked to better sleep. Just be careful of when you exercise, because too much activity too late in the day can make it harder to fall asleep for some people.
Watch your caffeine intake. Caffeine can stay in your body for up to 12 hours after ingested. Try to avoid caffeine late in the day and reduce how much you consume daily.