Whether you’re a small business owner who’s been forced to closed your doors, a mother navigating homeschooling, or a healthcare worker on the front lines, sleep has become more of a luxury than ever before during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Settling down for a good night’s sleep may feel especially difficult right now—but now is not the time to lose the rest we all need. After all, sleep deprivation increases stress hormone production and reduces our immunity.
To log some decent hours of sleep and maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout this unprecedented time, I recommend following these guidelines.
1. Limit Your News Consumption
I cannot overstate this: Do not—I repeat, do not—wake up and watch or read the news first thing in the morning or before you go to bed. Filling your mind with the latest stats and think pieces is the last thing you need before trying to settle down.
Implement a two-hour rule: absolutely no news within two hours of waking up or prior to bedtime.
In the morning, try these tips instead:
- Think about (or write down) one goal you want to accomplish that day. Imagine yourself accomplishing it and how you feel after you do.
- Get your body ready for the day with a short walk, 10 pushups, 10 jumping jacks, or anything else that gets your blood flowing and your energy levels up.
And at bedtime:
- Think of (or journal about) two things you are grateful for.
- Do something to unwind, like listening to music or reading a book.
2. Prioritize Daily Exercise
Making time for daily physical activity is essential right now—even if it’s just a quick jog.
I recommend exercising in the morning or afternoon, since doing so gives your internal thermometer time to reset before bed, which makes it easier for you to feel drowsy and fall asleep. (Exercising at night can interfere with this process.)
Ultimately, though, getting that exercise in is more important than when you get it in.
3. Recruit The Help Of Natural Calm-Boosters
I also love to take CBD at night. I find it really helps me unwind and has a calming effect that allows me to shut my mind down and have a quality rest.
Finally, on those occasional nights when your mind is racing (or your sleep-wake cycle is off because of changes in your normal sleep and wake times), try some melatonin.
The Bottom Line
Though all of these tools can help you maintain a healthy, restful sleep routine, the most important thing we can all do right now is focus on what we can control. Too many restless nights are spent worrying about things we have no control over.
Hopefully these tips and insight will help you get better nights of sleep—and remember that every storm runs out of rain. We will be okay.
Dr. Jacky is a double board-certified physician with extensive training in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. Her expertise in Western medicine is complemented by the use of alternative treatments—cannabinoids, in particular. Dr. Jacky believes in feeding the body, mind, and soul in order to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.