Expert advice on how to get more sleep during the Coronavirus pandemic
For most of us, it feels like we’re going on week 535,366,005 of quarantine …when in reality it’s been about 6 or 7 weeks of staying home to avoid spreading Covid-19.
The novelty, if there was any, has likely worn off. The ‘fun’ of staying home and watching tv, eating snacks and indulging in down time is probably now just boredom, lack of motivation and general crankiness.
Initially we were really focused on being healthy during this pandemic. Working out, being active at home, eating healthy and making sure we got enough sleep.
But that’s not where we’re at right now.
Sleep is all over the place. Everyone in our families are staying up far too late, sleeping in and waking up at random times. Thanks to stress and feeling like crap we’re also dealing with waking up in the middle of the night and tossing and turning.
Plus anxiety and fear over the pandemic are giving our kids nightmares.
All of this adds up to more fighting. And we don’t just mean the kids. We’re all on edge and sometimes at each other’s throats.
We 100% believe that sleep is the foundation to feeling great and being at your best, so we asked Amanda over at Baby’s Best Sleep for some tips to help adults and kids get more rest while we’re all so restless!
Amanda is the amazing sleep consultant who helped Sarah sleep train Hunter, who, thanks to her sleeps 7-7 with one feeding in between!
We asked her about what she’s noticing right now and she said that “people are stressed about their ‘new normal’, job insecurity, health concerns and a totally new way of life. Taking these worries to bed with you can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.”
This includes kids! So, she gave us some real-life advice. Things you can do right now to make sure you and your entire family get more restful sleep!
Limit News Consumption And Social Media
The news at the moment is..bleak. Avoiding these stories before bed will allow you to hit the sheets calm. Limit your news consumption to 1 hour/ day and never after 8 PM.
Bath Before Bed
Having a bath before bed lowers your body temperature which your body works hard to do overnight to get the deepest rest. Consider a bath or shower helping your body move towards something it was going to do anyway!
No Screens 1 hour before bed
Blue lights from tablets, screens and televisions mimic the same light that tells us to be awake therefore reducing the amount of melatonin we produce.
Melatonin makes us a) feel tired b) allows us to fall asleep easier.
Limit screens to fall asleep and stay asleep!
Lower The Internal Noise
Like many, you may be going to bed with all the thoughts in your head. Journal before bed, process the thoughts, and get the anxiety out of your brain!
Don’t Stay In Bed
If you’re in bed and can’t fall asleep, don’t stay there. If you have been in bed longer than 20 minutes, get out of bed, read for 15-20minutes and return to bed. This way you’re teaching your body that when you’re in bed, it’s to sleep–not to roll around restless.
Remove Your Clocks
When we start to obsess about what time we need to wake up at, we get into a thought loop about how many hours of sleep we’re getting etc.
Remove the clocks to avoid the thoughts and reduce stress!
When you are stressed your body will naturally produce more stress hormones. Stress hormones make it harder for you to relax and sleep. Find moments of mental rest (like yoga, breathing or meditation) to reduce stress hormones at night.
Both THC and Alcohol make it harder for your body to get into deeper parts of your sleep cycle. So although falling asleep may be easier, staying asleep and feeling rested may be impacted by these drugs.
While implementing some of these (ahem screen time and no wine) may seem tough, we’re both at the point where we’re ready to try anything so that we can feel better. We’re fed up with feeling cranky because of poor sleep.
At least improving our sleep habits is one thing we can do while we stay home, and hopefully they’re habits we’ll keep long after this pandemic is over!
Sarah and Apryl