Ah the days before the coronavirus pandemic – remember those?!
This year has been tough, and so much in our lives has changed. Work worries, isolation, health concerns and changes in routine have all taken their toll, bringing on the kind of stress and anxiety that seriously hurts our sleep.
Some people nod off fine, only to wake up in the middle of the night. Others simply toss and turn, unable to sleep until the wee small hours.
Whether you’ve had sleeping problems long before COVID-19 or they’ve just come on recently, all is not lost. Here we look at common sleep issues that many people have suffered during the coronavirus pandemic, and how you can avoid them.
Loss of routine
Life has changed for everyone lately. Concepts like social distancing, quarantines, different working schedules and school closures have all had a profound effect on our everyday lives. It’s no wonder we may struggle to sleep.
Being stuck at home, especially with the winter coming and the days growing darker, can mess with our circadian rhythm too. Many of us are also unable to see loved ones which can be emotionally draining.
If this sounds like you, we recommend trying to stick to a routine as much as possible. Try to stick to your usual office hours and switch off properly when you’re not working. Finding familiar anchors to mark your day may also be helpful, for example regular mealtimes and bedtimes.
Worry and anxiety
COVID-19 has led most of us to feel worried, anxious or even panicky at some point. It’s totally new and seemed to come out of nowhere. We’re concerned about catching the virus ourselves, as well as inadvertently passing it on to our loved ones.
Economic concerns are a big factor too. The economy is struggling, with many of us worried about job losses or a reduction in hours. Longer term worries about how long the pandemic will last, when (or indeed if) things will ever get back to normal, and how the economy will recover can also make the mind race.
Feelings of isolation
Perhaps we’ve not been able to see grandparents for a long time as they’re in a care home, or missed out on our favourite hobbies due to restrictions. Social isolation has been a big theme this year, potentially leading to depression and sleep problems.
Too much screen time
Zoom calls, Netflix binges and working from home can mean we’re glued to our screens more than we should be. However, try to limit screen time as much as you can and get some rest. The blue light emitted by your phone, TV, computer or tablet disrupts the body’s production of melatonin at night. This can negatively affect your sleep-wake cycle, making you feel groggy the next day.
Been trying to juggle a job with home schooling the kids and keeping everyone entertained? If families are feeling a little ‘on top of each other’ tensions can flair up. On top of this, there’s the hassle and disappointment of cancelled holidays and day trips away. The stress and discord this can all bring isn’t exactly restful.
What can be done to help?
If you’re regularly being bothered by stress, worry or anxiety around the pandemic then speak to someone you trust. Opening up can really help, as many of us are feeling the same thing (whether we show it or not).
You may need to make an appointment with your doctor for some medication or therapy, but don’t forget to also try our tips:
Practice a relaxation technique
Practising deep breathing, having a nice warm bath with some relaxation candles or taking some light exercise can all help you fall asleep faster and will improve your sleep quality. You may also like to listen to soothing music or practice meditation.
Make sure your bed is comfortable
Your bed should be your sanctuary – the most comfy place on earth!
So make sure your mattress supports you correctly and that your bedding is nice and clean. It might be that your pillows have seen better days too, and are too high or too saggy. If so, why not try one of our adjustable pillows so you can pick the perfect height for your head and neck? If you tend to feel too warm in bed, our cooling pillow with its air-vent system and cooling foam core are also well worth considering.
Get active during the day
Regular exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, and boost the amount of time you spend in the deeper, restorative stages of sleep. It can also help you fall asleep, and stay asleep.
Although local fitness centres, gyms and swimming pools may be closed in your area at the moment, you can still take a brisk walk in the sunshine or run along the pavement near your home. Just be careful not to exercise too near to bedtime, as it could be counterproductive and in fact wake you up!
Kally Sleep products are second to none
When it comes to getting the perfect night’s sleep in these most challenging of times, Kally Sleep has all the answers.
We know how important a good night’s rest is to both physical and mental health, and it’s at the heart of everything we do. See our full product range today and don’t forget to try our pillow finder quiz too!