It has been well established that a good night’s sleep is important for our mental health and physical health alike. In order to stay healthy, good sleep is key. Unfortunately, people are finding that during the coronavirus pandemic, sleep problems and sleep disorders are becoming more and more prevalent. The Sleep Foundation has found that people who previously did not show signs of sleep disorders are now suffering from abnormal sleep patterns, chronic insomnia, a lack of sleep, or poor sleep. This impact in sleep quality and duration can be traced to the disruption in daily life, increases in anxiety and stress, depression and isolation, excess screen time and blue light, and other factors that the COVID-19 outbreak has exposed us to.
The Importance of Sleep During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sleep is one of the most important factors that protect our health. Good sleep helps maintain an effective immune system, improves brain function, improves moods, and improves mental health. Sleepless nights can do more than make you feel tired the next day – they can actually make you prone to mental health problems, and physical health problems.
What Can We Do About Sleep Problems?
Sleeping well is something that can be achieved through a range of at-home practices, but some times may require further intervention such as visiting a sleep medicine practitioner, or a therapist who can help address the root causes of poor sleep from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the things we can do on our own at home include:
- Set a daily sleep schedule with a consistent bed-time and wake-up time
- Take the time to wind down before bed, putting away electronic devices and having the lights down or off
- Practice good sleep hygiene such as using your bed only for sleep
- Practice napping responsibly by avoiding long naps later in the day (short naps early in the afternoon may be helpful)
- Maintain activity by going on walks, practicing yoga at home, going for light jogs or runs, or doing other at-home workouts
If you have tried the above sleep techniques and practices and still are not getting the results you want, then it may be time to talk to a professional. Contact us at the Granato Group where one of our mental health professionals can help address some of the root causes of stress and anxiety that lead to sleep problems.