It’s a widely known fact that getting the right quantity and quality of sleep is important for your health. It reduces stress, inflammation and the risk of depression, and it helps the body repair itself, improves cognitive function and helps ward off illness.
Sleep is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many people are struggling to get enough of it.
A report by Express Scripts found that the use of anti-insomnia, anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication spiked between February and March, peaking in mid-March, when the World Health Orgainzation declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Here is a list of tips compiled from Health.com to help you sleep better.
1. Go to sleep and get up at the same time every day
Brandon Peters-Matthews, a doctor who specializes in sleep, has said that having a regular sleeping and waking schedule helps maintain a consistent sleep routine.
The schedule should leave 8 hours a night for sleep. This is the sleep requirement for most adults. The typical sleep needs for those between the ages of 13 and 18 is 10 hours nightly, while the sleep needs of babies from four to 12 months old can be up to 16 hours a night, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
2. Get sunlight when you wake up
How you start and end your day affects the quality of your sleep as well.
Peters-Matthews has said that getting 15 to 30 minutes of sunlight after waking up and going to bed feeling sleepy will help.
3. Pay attention to how your daily habits influence your wakefulness
Avoiding naps and being aware of how much caffeine and alcohol you consume can help you get a better night’s sleep.
Read also: How to take care of your skin in quarantine
4. Move your body
Regular exercise helps with managing stress and promoting sleep, according to neurology and pediatrics professor Beth Marlow.
“Try moving every hour and engage in regular exercise – outside if you can,” said Marlow.
5. Limit news consumption
Although being up to date on current events is important, it can also cause anxiety that may disturb your sleep.
Marlow recommended that you avoid social media and news outlets before bed or turn off your screen entirely.
6. Take care of yourself
A number of potential stressors have emerged during the pandemic, such as not being able to go to the office, go to the gym or spend time with friends. But it’s still possible to care for yourself and take some “me” time to decompress.
“Try to cultivate ways to reduce stress, and reach out to others for support,” said Peters-Matthews. “If insomnia persists, consider cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTI).” (wng)