By KJC Law Firm
It is completely normal to feel anxious during these unprecedented times where we feel as if we have a loss of control due to the aspects of the COVID-19, Instead of spending so much time excessively worrying, why not put that energy into what you can control which is self-care. Sleep is a natural aspect for focusing and working on self- care. Getting enough sleep not only makes you feel good and ready for the day but also benefits your immune system.
Can sleep help my immune system fight the coronavirus?
Lots of sleep helps the immune system, which helps reduce the risk of infection and helps improve outcomes for fighting the COVID-19 virus. Not getting enough sleep weakens the immune system and makes people more vulnerable to contracting the virus. Sleep can even improve mood and productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hard for everyone to function daily without normal everyday activities such as social support, exercise, etc.) while school and work is online and many events are canceled. Adequate sleep can up your mood and maximize the potential for better days. A good amount of sleep improves your mood, improves brain function, and increases productivity and energy during the day.
Why am I having trouble sleeping while staying at home?
Elevated stress levels and a ton of new information can keep our mind racing and worrying about the outcomes of the pandemic. This can cause the body’s arousal system to trigger insomnia. With work, school, events, etc. being online, people are constantly spending every moment on phones, tablets, or laptops looking for COVID updates and etc. The blue light from the screens tell our brain to stop producing the sleep hormone, melatonin… aka the hormone that tells our body it is time to rest. In addition, loss of daytime schedules and routines can affect sleep schedules. Having different bedtimes and wake times every day can make the urge and importance of falling asleep less predictable
Habits to help sleep better during the pandemic
- Create a sleep schedule – Find out how much sleep you need each day. Most people need 7-8 hours a night, if not more. After figuring out the amount of adequate sleep that works best for you, prioritize that amount of sleep each night. With more free time on our hands, take advantage of getting to bed on time and getting your beauty rest.
- Limit screen time at night– Turn off devices one hour before bedtime. Leave your phone charging in the kitchen or across the room so you are not tempted to look at social media or COVID-19 updates before bed.
- Find time for you- Take the hour before bedtime as me time with no electronics involved. This hour should be alone time for you to relax! Take a hot bath/shower, listen to soothing music, read a good book or magazine, draw meditate.
- Minimize naps– daytime naps and sleeping should be less than 30 minutes and before 2 p.m.. If you ever have trouble sleeping, avoid naps in the day.
- Breathing exercises- Take 10 slow deep breaths to help fall or return to sleep. It should be a slow inhale though the nose for 3 or 4 seconds and a slow exhale through your mouth for 3 to 4 seconds.
- Get control over stress- the pandemic is putting a damper on our usual coping strategies such as seeing friends or the going to the gym. Try new activities such as writing, painting, photography, indoor exercise videos, etc. Find ways to stay connected with friends through technology such as Zoom or Face Time. Go to therapy if stress feels unmanageable.
- Structure your daytime schedule- Commit to daily activities in a routine to build structure in your days. This will help going to bed on time and waking on time. Set phone reminders to anchor your schedule, and turn off screens an hour before bed.
While sleep is important, do not fret about it! Worrying about sleep turns into more stress. Do your best and try to follow the tips. You cannot control the outcome of your actions but you can control the effort.
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