How to fix your sleep cycle during the lockdown

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Most of the countries in the world have declared lockdowns due to the COVID-19 global pandemic that has engulfed most of the world.

There is no other option at this moment for governments across the world other than to enforce lockdowns to help prepare their health facilities and flatten the infection curve.

Many people have lost jobs, some have been retrenched, while others have to work from home. Not being allowed to go out, and do your normal day to day activities can be stressful, but in current circumstances, you don’t have any other option if you want to prevent getting infected.

These lockdowns have forced changes to our daily lives and we have to adjust to this new normal.

One of the important factors to stay mentally and physically healthy is getting sufficient good quality sleep. It has become even more important when you are in lockdown and have to adjust to new normal.

Sleep deprivation or poor quality of sleep is going to affect your long-mental and physical health and you can end up suffering from depression, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity, etc.

As a result, extended hours at home can lead to poor sleep patterns.

Here are some of the tips that should help you to fix your sleep cycle to avoid sleep deprivation during the lockdown and keep your body and mind healthy.

Follow a new routine

You should embrace change and follow a new routine to help you to cope with managing the quality of your sleep during lockdown.

Whether you have lost the job or are new to working from home for an extended number of hours, you should follow a schedule that will help your circadian rhythm stay intact and not disturb your sleep cycle.

You should stop using blue light-emitting gadgets a minimum of one hour before your bedtime as it is known to harm your sleep cycle. 

Keep mobile phones out of the bedroom unless they are muted. Someone ringing your number in error in the middle of the night can interrupt your sleep so badly that it could be difficult falling asleep again. 

If you have difficulty falling asleep, switch on some calming soft music on a device that has a timer, so it wont play all night. This can relax you and let you fall asleep peacefully and gently with a calm mind.

Create zones

You should create separate zones for all the activities like eating, working, sleeping, and ensure that all the family members follow it and keep the sanctity of each zone.

You should ensure that your bedroom is used only for sleeping, and intimacy if you sleep with your partner. All the blue light-emitting devices should be kept out of the bedroom.

You should ensure that your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet.

Your bedroom should have a perfect bed with a good mattress that provides all the comfort and support to your body when you are asleep. A good mattress will not let pressure points get created during the night and you will wake up relaxed and energetic after getting adequate good quality sleep.

Check out this guide from SleepStandards to buy a good mattress to enhance good restful sleep.

Avoid day napping

You should avoid taking naps during the day. Extended hours at home should not be the reason for taking naps during the day, it is going to disrupt your circadian rhythm.

If for some reason you have to get rid of the sleep debt from the previous night, limit yourself to a short nap of around 20 minutes after lunch.

Consume caffeine-laden drinks before noon

Caffeine being a stimulant can impact your sleep and keep you awake, so you should avoid consuming caffeine drinks in late afternoon or evenings. Some of the chocolates that contain caffeine should be avoided as well in late afternoon and evenings.

Avoid consuming alcoholic drinks

You should avoid consuming alcoholic drinks as they may disturb your sleep cycle. You may feel sleepy for some time immediately after consuming it, but it may result in fragmented sleep.

Meditate and exercise

You should do meditation and exercises as they can have a positive effect on your sleep health as they are known to help in reducing stress levels and getting rid of anxiety.

You should do heavy exercising only in the morning and light stretching and exercising in the evenings. Heavy exercising in late afternoon and evening may not have the desired effect on your sleep and may harm your sleep cycle.

Expose yourself to natural light

You should expose yourself to natural light and not stay only under artificial lights during the day, it will help your circadian rhythm and body to maintain a healthy sleep cycle.

You should keep windows open, close curtains and blinds to allow natural light to come in during the day.

Follow a bedtime ritual

You should follow a healthy bedtime habit like washing your hands and face, making a to-do list for the next day, brushing your teeth, and applying lotion to maintain good sleep hygiene.

You should spend some time reading a book or a magazine, or listening to soothing music that will help you in feeling sleepy.

In summary

Lockdown can be depressing and increases your stress levels and anxiety; it becomes extremely important that you stay mentally and physically healthy.

You should follow these tips as it is imperative that you get sufficient good quality sleep for your mental and physical well-being while you adjust to new normal.

Both, sleep deprivation and more than the required number of sleeps can be harmful to your mental and physical health.

[Image – Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash]



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