Sleep Well: Restful Sleep During COVID-19April 27, 2020
Right now is a stressful time no matter who you are. As the nation and world respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to get caught up doom and gloom as we shelter-in-place. That’s why you may find it difficult to get a good night’s rest — but that’s why it’s actually more important than ever that you do.
Sleep deprivation can lead to major health issues, and getting enough sleep can have many positive effects on your life. Just a few ways in which getting the right amount of sleep can help include:
- Increased brain function
- Better emotional well-being
- Enhanced physical health
- More productivity during the day time
In short, it’s always important to get good sleep, but even more so now. But with everything going on, how do you do that? Here are some recommendations for ways you can de-stress, relax, and get a better night’s sleep during COVID-19.
Make Sure You’re Getting Enough
The amount of sleep you need will vary depending on a variety of factors. Generally speaking, the Mayo Clinic recommends every adult get anywhere between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. That means consecutive hours, with as few interruptions as possible. You may wake a few times each night, but for the most part, a key to good sleep is being able to sleep for longer stretches during the nighttime.
While some claim they can operate on fewer hours of sleep than what’s considered normal, lack of sleep can leave to a decrease in cognitive function. It can leave you feeling sluggish, ornery, and discontent during the day. This can only aggravate your stress levels. By getting enough sleep, you optimize your chances for a more satisfying day ahead.
Be Consistent in When You Go to Sleep and Wake Up
Another way to improve your sleep quality is by waking up at the same time each day. Your body operates on a circadian rhythm that acts like a biological clock. Cycles occur and reoccur within your body over the course of the day and night. Getting on a consistent sleep schedule will establish this rhythm; the more consistent you are in sticking to it, the easier it will be to reinforce. You’ll then have better sleep quality.
To ensure you wake up at the same time every day, it also helps to go to bed at relatively the same time. This conditions your body and mind to get to sleep faster and get more quality sleep when you do. According to the National Sleep Foundation, this has wonderful benefits to your immune system:
“Cytokines, the chemicals our immune systems use to help fight an infection, are powerful sleep-inducers. This suggests that sleep may help the body conserve energy and other resources it needs to mount an immune response and fight disease.”
Put Down Your Phone
As tempting as it can be to take a sneak peek at your mobile device before bed, resisting this urge can greatly increase the overall quality of your sleep. The blue light from your smartphone actually suppresses melatonin, a hormone that maintains your sleep cycle. It also exposes you to a whole host of emotions. Think of the last time you logged into your Facebook or Twitter feed. You likely saw things that made you laugh, made you upset, or created some sort of emotional reaction. These types of reactions present an opportunity to disrupt your REM sleep, especially when you experience them right before bed.
During COVID-19, when good news seems hard to come by, it helps to avoid any type of unpleasantness right before bed. Allow yourself 1-2 hours without any screens before you want to fall to sleep. Consider picking up a good book for a few moments before bed instead.
There are many ways to meditate. Some people repeat a mantra. Others simply sit quietly for a set period of time and allow their thoughts to wash over them with their eyes closed. Whatever method you choose, meditation can help increase relaxation and put your mind in a better place during COVID-19.
One study found that in a group of adults that had issues sleeping (aged 49 and older), the ones who participated in a mindfulness awareness program experienced better sleep than others in the group who did not.
Never meditated before? There are plenty of meditation apps available as well as resources online that can help you learn. Sometimes, it can be as simple as taking deep breaths while remaining quiet for 10-20 minutes. Like any skill, you can get better at it through practice. Meditating before sleep will help put your mind in a calm, soothing place at the time you need to relax the most.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Are you getting enough physical activity during the day? Exercise is a great stress reducer for any time of day, but it can also help lead to better sleep. That’s not to say you should exercise right before bed — in some cases, this can release endorphins that can keep you awake. There’s no definitive research available on the best time to work out to improve sleep quality, only that it helps to do it at some point during the day. The only important thing is to do it – likely well before you plan to go to sleep. This will help you feel better throughout the day and be ready for rest when you lay your head down at night.
Gift Yourself the Most Comfortable Bed Sheets Possible
Since you’ll be spending 7-9 hours in bed every night, it’s important to have the most comfortable bedding possible. Use your bed to create a haven of relaxation so that your stress melts away. Thomas Lee Sheets has you covered there. We can help you create your haven with:
- Soft Percale sheets and bedding made of 100% Supima cotton
- Our 500 thread count
- Light and airy bedding that controls your body temperature so you don’t get too hot or too cold