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During times of uncertainty, it is normal to experience some disruption to your usual sleep pattern. Perhaps you are part of the many people having trouble falling and staying asleep during this time. This could be resultant of numerous things such as anxiety, fear and worry. You lay for hours tossing and turning with no sleep or you fall asleep for a few hours only to wake up unsettled and unable to go back to sleep.
Getting quality sleep is crucial for your health, both physical and mental health as well as maintaining good coping mechanisms for change. When you are well-rested and in tune with your circadian cycle, you tend to be more alert and focused and will think more clearly when dealing with the change happening in your life and globally. Quality sleep also improves the functioning of your immune system, lowering the chances of developing health problems or getting sick. All of this is incredibly necessary during this time, where the health of so many people has been compromised.
Most of us are well aware of the physical benefits of regular exercise but are not as knowledgeable on the mental benefits of working out. Studies have shown that regular exercise during the day can help relieve worry and stress that often disrupts sleep. Exercising regularly, preferably in the morning, can set your natural clock back to normal. Physical activity also increases the time spent in a deep sleep. Deep sleep helps to boost immune function, support cardiac health, and control stress and anxiety.
Maybe you have had a challenging day, it may be tempting to distract yourself from thinking about the day by scrolling through social media or catching up on a Netflix show in bed. This can have you up for hours and eventually mess up your sleeping pattern. The stimulation you get from engaging in screens can make it extremely difficult to fall asleep. Moreover, the blue light from your screens suppresses melatonin, which irregulates all other hormones involved in your circadian cycle.
Your trouble with falling or staying asleep could be a result of your sleeping environment. With a few tweaks to your environment, you could have quality and sound sleep. You always want to make sure that it is completely dark. If there is light you have no control over, try sleeping with an eye mask. Another thing is silence. Eliminate any noise or get earplugs to block out noise. Optimal temperature plays another important role in sleep quality. This will differ fro person to person, but a room that is too cold or too hot may make it difficult to fall asleep or you will wake up during your sleep burning up or freezing, so make sure to use the correct bedding for the season, adjust the thermostat if you have one accordingly.
If racing thoughts are what keep you up at night, you might want to keep a journal and pen at your bedside. Writing down the thoughts and what makes you anxious gets it out of our head and onto paper. Thus, making it easier to relax—and easier to fall and stay asleep. This can also be helpful for those who often wake up to anxious thoughts. Grab your journal and pen and write them down instead of carrying them through the day.