With COVID-19 keeping most of us locked down at home, many of our usual routines have been shattered, making it harder for us to get a good night’s sleep. Although we can all forgo a few hours of sleep here and there, every hour of sleep we lose per night soon adds up, and before we know it we are tired, grumpy, and often cognitively impaired, making it harder to complete the tasks we need to the next day. We may be in lockdown, but it is still vital that we look after our personal health, and getting a good night’s sleep is the perfect place to start. So here are a few things that you can do to get a better night’s sleep, even while in lockdown.
Improve your sleep environment
Lockdown is the perfect chance to start those little DIY projects you may have been putting off for several years. You may not be able to drive to the store, but many are still offering deliveries to their customers, so there’s no excuse not to get stuck in and get the job done. The environment that you sleep in has a huge effect on the quality and quantity of the sleep you can attain, and just a few simple changes can make a big difference. So here are 3 things you can do to makeover your bedroom.
- Buy a new mattress
Did you know that the average mattress should be replaced every 8 years? That’s right, like any item you use every day, your mattress wears out, becoming misshapen and causing problems with your sleep posture. If you’ve had your mattress for more than 8 years, it is likely contributing to your problems sleeping, not to mention it could also be home to years worth of dirt and grime.
- Install a blackout blind
Our bodies naturally respond to light levels, meaning that if you sleep in a well-lit room then you will likely struggle to fall and stay asleep. Blackout blinds can help to ensure that the early rising sun doesn’t disturb your slumber, and they make it easier to have naps during the daytime too.
- Buy a fan
The temperature of your bedroom can also dramatically impact your sleep quality. It’s much easier to fall asleep in a cold room than a hot one and any temperature over 70 degrees Fahrenheit can cause night sweats. Buying a fan will help you to keep your bedroom temperature more constant, and it also provides some ambient background noise that can be beneficial for sleep too.
Go to bed at the same time
Lockdown may have messed with our daily routines, but wherever possible it is important to try and keep a regular bedtime routine. Our bodies love routine and find it much easier to fall asleep when they do so at the same time each day, so whether you feel tired or not, shut down the computer, turn off the television and stick to your bedtime routine.
Exercise at home
With no need to leave our homes, many of us have dramatically reduced our daily activity levels which means our bodies no longer feel fatigued at the end of the day. You may not be able to go to the gym or meet up with your friends for a run, but you should still try to do some kind of exercise a day in order to stay active. Doing a vigorous morning workout will not only help to wake you up and prepare you for the day, but it will also help you to burn some extra calories and use up some pent up energy. In the evenings, gentle yoga or stretching sessions can help to reduce stress and tension, preparing the body for sleep while also improving flexibility. Whatever workout you choose to try, the most important thing is that you do one – so find something you enjoy and add it into your new lockdown routine.
Avoid caffeine and screens before bed
Without a doubt, the screen usage of most people during lockdown has increased dramatically, after all, what else is there to do! Although Netflix may be your new evening norm, if you can, try to limit your exposure to digital screens for at least an hour before bedtime. Similarly, although coffee may now be your drink of choice throughout the day, steer clear of caffeine in the afternoon, and don’t touch it in the evening if you are serious about getting a good quality night sleep.
So there you have it, just a few things that you can be doing to improve your sleep during this lockdown period – how has your sleep been during the lockdown?
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