10 Ways To Get Better Sleep

The COVID-19 pandemic has created more stress and anixety is people which can lead to insomnia even in people who do not usually suffer from it. Poor sleep can put a person at risk of obesity, reduces immunity, impairs job performance, memory, and other functions. Here are 10 doctor recommended tips on how to get better sleep:

  1. Establish a regular schedule. Consistent bedtime and wake-up times can help you maintain a healthy sleep routine.
  2. Keep in contact with natural light. Try opening your windows and expose yourself to sunlight. It can be good for improving mood and regulating your body clock. It is also an opportunity to get some fresh air for short periods of time.
  3. Stay active. Staying active while social distancing can help you build up body fatigue in order to fall asleep more easily and get better sleep throughout the night.
  4. Limit your naps. Avoid sleeping during the day or afternoon unless you had little sleep the previous night. It can reduce sleep pressure and increase your risk of insomnia.
  5. Maintain a social life. Utilizing your social networks to seek support from your friends and family to help keep your spirits up and maintain your mental health, especially if you live alone or away from family. Bad news in the media can create more anxiety.
  6. Be strict with your diet. Try to avoid drinking coffee in the afternoon. It can create nervousness and delay your sleep in the evening. Eating large and overly rich meals before going to bed can also delay your sleep.
  7. Avoid using back-lit devices before bedtime. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops are just a part of our lives now. It is important to try and set them aside at least 30 minutes before your scheduled bedtime. You can set the device on “night mode” to reduce brightness if you are worried you won’t be able to do this. By reducing your brain’s lag with the natural cycle of night and day, it will prevent disturbances in your biological clock and be beneficial for your quality of sleep in the long run.
  8. Avoid staying in bed if you don’t sleep. Your brain is like a computer. It associates certain events with certain functions. Your brain will associate bed and darkness with sleep and trigger the process of falling asleep, and will not be able to do this if it is distracted by other activities like video games, homework, physical activity, and alcohol. Try listening to soft music, reading a book, do deep breathing exercises, yoga, or any other relaxing activity. Do not stay in bed if you are not sleeping more than half an hour after going to bed. Get out of bed and try doing a quiet activity and then return to bed when you notice signs of fatigue, heavy eyelids, yawning, etc.
  9. Accept that not all nights of sleep are perfect or restful. Stress is inevitable and each person has their own stress management techniques. Do not worry too much if you have not slept well for a few days. Review these recommendations because most people have trouble sleeping due to trivial problems, an argument with a loved one, or work-related anxiety. Identify what is causing you stress and learn how to manage it.
  10. Avoid sleeping pills. Prolonged use of sleep aids like benzodiazepines or anxiolytics, without a health-care professional consulting can worsen the situation. It is better to try to adapt to a healthier lifestyle first before resorting to medication.


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