COVID-19 vs. Sleep
With all of the stress related to the pandemic over the past year, it's no wonder that people are getting less sleep. According to some studies;
- As of March 2020, the number of Americans getting the minimum recommended hours of sleep declined even more (54% in January 2020 vs. 49% in March 2020).
- Fewer Americans woke up feeling rested and refreshed often or frequently (30% in January 2020 vs. 24% in March 2020).
- More Americans described their sleep as poor or fair (43% in January 2020 vs. 52% in March 2020).
- All of the sleep issues that COVID-19 amplified have also led to a significant increase in negative mentions about sleep on social media (up 62% from last March).
So, what does all this mean for you? What can you do to get through the rest of 2021 and start 2022 with as little stress and as much restful sleep as possible? Here are some key things to keep in mind:
Routine, Routine, Routine
While the world may seem a bit unhinged right now, you can create a sense of normalcy in your day-to-day by creating new routines – especially for sleep.
Set up a sleep schedule for yourself and be consistent with it. At least an hour or two before you turn in, turn off electronics such as your phone, computer and TV. Before bed, practice yoga, drink some warm tea, or do anything that relaxes you and gets you in the mood for sleep – your pre-bed ritual is the foreplay to a restful night.
Schedule a sleep appointment
Getting yourself into a routine where you go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time (even on weekends) will lull your body into the habit of regular sleep. Be very strict with your bedtime. Don’t let yourself get distracted by social media, what’s on TV or work you didn’t get done. When it’s bedtime, just go to bed, no matter what. Soon your body will be on board and you will naturally fall asleep and wake up when you are supposed to.
Since we spend 33% of our lives asleep, improving sleep means improving one-third of your life — not to mention that those benefits carry over to when you’re awake too!
Self-Care Your Way to Better Sleep
Ever heard of the phrase “Treat Yourself”? Now is the time to start doing that or do more of it.
You may have saved some money last holiday season on travel, food and buying gifts due to COVID restrictions. Why not spend your holiday fund on improving your sleep environment? Purchase some comfortable, sassy pajamas, buy blackout curtains or a sleep mask, and celebrate the upcoming holidays with sleep.
Self-care isn’t just buying yourself gifts – it’s about establishing a healthy mental and emotional lifestyle as well.