person under the covers in bed

Interrupted sleep? How to sleep during a pandemic

Getting a great night’s sleep is the ultimate start to the day. You feel refreshed and motivated to start anything you have on the agenda.

When you have interrupted sleep, it takes you longer to fall asleep or you can’t get to sleep at all, then this starts a domino effect on the following day.

Sleep is linked to happiness and control over what you do and how you achieve anything in your life. When you are sleep deprived, this can lead to a lack of energy, weight gain, depression, anxiety, and many other factors.

With everything that is going on at the moment, it can be hard to switch your brain off and feel that sense of accomplishment that helps get you to sleep.

With all this in mind, however, I think we can still take some small steps to help you tackle interrupted sleep patterns and get that REM that you very much need.

We need to stay connected however we can

It is vital that we are still connecting with friends and family, and sharing those treasured moments, even though we can’t physically meet.

This does mean, however, that more people are using devices right before trying to sleep.

It can be like a moth to a flame (or a blue light) when you climb into bed, but what is important to remember is that any device’s glowing light will keep you awake and make it more difficult to get to sleep.

So, stay connected, share those precious thoughts, but put a deadline on the last Whatsapp or Zoom call and give your eyes a few hours to rest before bed.

Interrupted sleep and eating at the right time

At the moment, our routines are still all over the place – and as we go into another lockdown, you need to let your body know when it is time to rest. You can do that by paying attention to when you’re eating.

A late-night meal is tempting, but when you eat and try to sleep straight after, your body’s working overtime to digest that food, but also while you’re lying down.

We fuel our bodies to keep us going, but if you are trying to sleep, that food has nothing to fuel except to keep you awake.

So, give yourself some time to digest before hitting the hay.

Thriving on routine

When you have a baby, you hear that a routine makes everything flow better day to day. This shouldn’t change in adults. Human beings thrive on routine and knowing what’s to come next.

A routine is predominantly different to a schedule, which can be regimented and easy to break, but a routine can simply be the order of things as they come up throughout the day.

This means that your body clock will know when sleep is due, and will rest at the right time.

A scary film is fun, but it’s not doing your sleep any good

Even if you have the toughest skin and love a scary movie before bed, you are still stimulating your brain and making it harder to wind down at night.

Any kind of stimulation will make it difficult to rest and let your mind get some rest. 

That’s the same for playing Xbox and it goes back around to blue light stimulation too.

If you are having interrupted sleep, avoid adding more thoughts and stimulants to the mix.

The next step can be subjective to everyone…

This is to ensure that where you are going to sleep is comforting and inviting. This means tidy, dark and pleasing to be in. 

This doesn’t mean that I encourage you to Marie Kondo your bedroom, but to simply take a look at your surroundings and ask yourself if you enjoy being in that room. Do you find it relaxing? And what things do you find relaxing that might not be in that room?

This could be to tidy up or it could be to add a darker blind to your windows. Once you start to look forward to going into that room, it is much easier to relax and get to sleep.

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