After forcing millions upon millions of people to self-isolate at home, the coronavirus pandemic will have caused an unprecedented change of routine for a number of people.
This, in turn, will have caused your sleep to have been impacted as a result, making it much harder to get to sleep than usual – regardless of how many sheep you count, how many hot water bottles you tuck yourself in with, or how many ASMR videos you watch.
If you are one of those people to have been affected by post-lockdown insomnia, we’re here to help.
Join us as we run through some of the most effective ways for you to get back on top of your sleeping pattern and ensure you stay in the land of nod all night long.
- Let There Be Light
Humans aren’t designed to stay indoors so, unless you have to, don’t.
As research proves, our eyes require exposure to outdoor light because of the hormone in our body which regulates our sleep and wake cycle.
Known as melatonin, the levels of this hormone decline when you have limited exposure to proper outdoor light. Therefore, doing your daily outdoor exercise is not only important from a physical health perspective but it’ll also significantly benefit your sleeping pattern too.
To go one step further, try to avoid wearing sunglasses when you go outside. Allow the sun into your eyes instead – that way, your sleep quality and mood will increase as a result.
- Install A Blackout Blind.
There is nothing worse than being woken up too early by a blinding light coming in through a pair of relatively thin curtains or blinds. So, if you have this problem in your bedroom, why not think about installing an upgrade?
Blackout blinds and curtains are so-called for a reason – they literally black out the room and environment around you, offering complete control when total darkness is required. This, in turn, eliminates the possibility of light pollution or stimuli creating a distraction that limits your ability to get to sleep.
As mentioned earlier, the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle is very light-sensitive so, the fewer number of light sources there are in your room, the more melatonin you’ll produce and the quicker you’ll be able to nod off.
- Establish A Routine.
Now that the lockdown restrictions have been eased somewhat, it is possible to get some semblance of normality back in your life.
Whether it be seeing friends, family or working somewhere anywhere other your own home, having a routine is vital to ensuring you keep insomnia at bay.
Even if you can now enjoy a nice lie in courtesy of the government’s furlough scheme, try not to if you can. The more you can maintain the same daily routine, the better you will feel for it.
Oh, and also try not to take daily naptimes if you can. Sleepiness should be treated as a precious resource so, rather than giving in during the day, save it up for a proper night’s rest that evening.
- Avoid Your Bedroom.
If you’re currently working from home and have the luxury of choosing where to work, try to avoid your bedroom if you can.
While you may deny it, your brain makes a subconscious association between your bedroom and need to sleep. Therefore, by avoiding it all day, it’ll be like walking into a cosy hug when you’re ready to hit the hay, since it should only ever be thought of as a place for comfort.
If you don’t, this could trick your mind into thinking it’s a working environment, making it more difficult for you to nod off while staring at your at-home desk set up.
- Put The Phone Down.
While it may be tempting to send a few late-night texts before bed or have a quick flick through Instagram, using your phone before bed is one of the worst things you can do if you’re trying to get to sleep.
This again is largely due to the light that your phone emits, which tricks your brain into thinking its daytime outside and is, therefore, time to get up.
But it’s not just that you have to worry about. Using your phone or any type of screen before bed can also play on your emotions – especially if you’re watching a video you’re unfamiliar with.
The increase in your heart rate this can cause a release of adrenaline, making it much harder for you to get to sleep quickly – regardless of how tired you might have been when you first got into bed.
As difficult as it may be to do, put your phone on charge then go to sleep. You’ll be thankful for it when you wake up in the morning, we promise.