Alaska Sleep Clinic's Covid-19 Update
The Sleep Foundation has recently released new guidelines for achieving quality sleep during the Covid-19 Pandemic. For those under stay-at-home orders or those choosing to stay at home, sleep can be difficult to manage. Since sleep is important to overall health and can benefit the immune system, sleep is more important than ever.
POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF STAYING AT HOME:
- Feelings of being unmotivated
- Loss off a regular schedule and subsequently regular sleep
- Inability to keep track of time
- Irritability from a lack of control
- Restlessness or “cabin fever”
- Excessive screen time that disrupts sleep habits
- Loss of natural outdoor sleep cues, such as natural light change
- Excessive sleep can even occur and cause grogginess
- Anxiety or stress about future events or fear of illness
- Depression from isolation
The Sleep Foundation has some very informative tips and guidelines about combating these effects. Staying at home all day can make us feel lethargic and unmotivated, and this can adversely affect our rest at night. In this article you can read up on tips that can give you a better chance at sleeping and living a healthier lifestyle during these unprecedented times.
The Sleep Foundation also points out some reasons why sleep is essential during the pandemic, such as:
- Maintaining good mental health
- Improving overall mood and productiveness
- Keeping sharp or improving brain function
- Most importantly, sleep helps maintain the immune system
SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP?
The foundation provides some in-depth sleep guidelines that we will summarize here. These sleep tips will give you quick pointers you can put to work immediately. But remember, the positive effects of sleep are cumulative over time and the negative effects can be immediate. So to reap the most benefits, you should start improving your sleep now and find aids to help maintain a better night’s rest.
Sleep Foundation Tips:
- Get up at a scheduled time
- Start preparing for sleep at a scheduled time – Falling asleep isn’t easy and you should set aside enough time to “wind down” before your target bedtime.
- Lay down for bed at a scheduled time. Creating a specific time can help build better sleep habits over time.
- Keep the bedroom sacred – That means the bedroom is for sleep, not work, not T.V., not phone time, not reading, and not for long conversations or heightened emotional states (save the spousal arguing for the kitchen my friends).
- Manage your light intake – The circadian rhythm can be interrupted with poor light management. Keep the lights low before bedtime and avoid blue lights (such as older LED’s) and use the screen sleep settings on your phone. See this guide from PC Mag on setting your phone up for less blue light wavelengths during the evening hours leading up to bedtime. https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-stop-blue-light-from-disturbing-your-sleep
- Naps can be a double edge sword – Taking naps can be beneficial, but long naps can disrupt your regular sleep patterns.
- Find time to stay active – Regular exercise can help you fall asleep quicker and feel more rested.
- Consider what you put in your body during the day and near bedtime – Sugars and caffeine can have adverse effects on your sleep.
Hopefully, by implementing a few tips from this article you can increase the quality of your slumber, while simultaneously bettering your mood and energy levels during the day.