Sleep disruption has become increasingly concerning amongst the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, physical and mental well-being has taken a dramatic decline in the world's population.

According to Donn Posner, a clinical associate professor at Stanford University, sleep problems should be thought of as an infection. This is due to its debilitating nature if not properly cared for.

For this reason, it is crucial to build strong, healthy habits around your sleep hygiene. The following seven tips aim to reduce difficulties around sleep patterns to help better your overall well-being.

1. Try Relaxation Techniques

Methods of relaxation differ from person to person depending on your preferences. In general, common relaxation techniques can prove to be one of the most beneficial healthy lifestyle habits to form.

Some techniques include yoga, meditation, reading, stretching and playing calming music. As with many of these tips, relaxation techniques can be done at your own pace. 

Another way to reduce pandemic related stress and improve sleeping habits is to limit news intake. To do this, limit your reading to a few trusted sources. You may also want to reduce screen time each day when looking at these sources. 

Scheduling calls with loved ones and avoiding the subject of the pandemic are also relaxation techniques that can help reduce stress. In general, the average adult will have longer and better sleeps when they are less stressed. 

2. Remain Active

During periods of exercise, your brain releases endorphins that cause overall stress reduction. For this reason, many people have started increasing their activity levels from home.

Activities such as daily walks, virtual dance classes and light muscle strengthening are a great place to start.  

Be sure to avoid increasing your activity before bedtime. Exercising too close to bedtime will result in a less restful sleep and cause further irregular sleeping habits. 

3. Only Use Your Bed for Sleep 

In light of the restrictions caused by the pandemic, many people are finding it harder to separate their beds from work and leisure activities. Sleep experts strongly advise against this.

Making the mind-body connection between your bed and sleep is crucial for forming healthy sleep habits. You can avoid breaking these habits by using your bed for sleep only.

It is recommended that you avoid bringing your laptop into bed to watch TV or do work. Also, frequently changing your sleets and fluffing your pillows can help to enhance your bed's freshness.

These small changes help form the habit of separating sleep from stimulating activities while enhancing your sleep quality.

4. Be Mindful of Light Exposure 

Light exposure is another way that you can regulate your sleeping patterns. If properly integrated, light can be associated with positive feelings that influence your circadian rhythm. 

Increasing your exposure to natural light helps boost these positive effects surrounding your circadian rhythm. If possible, try and go outside once a day. This is an effective way to expose yourself to fresh air and healthy amounts of light. 

Of course, this should only be done if you have access to areas that support the pandemic guidelines. Standing on your balcony or in your backyard is not ideal however, they are better than remaining indoors all day. 

You should also avoid as much blue light as possible as it disrupts sleep patterns. This is any light that comes from digital devices such as laptops or mobile phones. It is recommended that you avoid blue light exposure at least one hour before bed. 

5. Stick to a Schedule 

Keeping a daily routine helps to maintain order throughout your day even during the irregularity of the pandemic. Scheduling sleep-specific regimens allow your body to adjust to a consistent pattern- making it easier to fall asleep at night. 

Specific regimens may include setting alarms for wake-up times, wind-down times and bedtimes. Keeping these times consistent tricks your body and sends physical cues to it to help signal that it's time for bed. 

Showering, eating meals, exercising and work should also be scheduled throughout your day. Making sure that you have time for all your needs can help restructure some of the healthy daily habits you engaged in before the pandemic.

6. Be Cautious of What You Eat 

A good diet containing vegetables, fruits, meats and grains is among some of the healthy living habits that are often overlooked. This can be hard especially during the pandemic since excessive stress often leads to poor eating habits. 

Substances such as caffeine and sugar are fine in moderation however, they can pose risks to sleep health. If ingested too close to bedtime, or often throughout the day, they can reduce the quantity and quality of your rest. 

This tip works best when coupled with the previous suggestion of scheduling your meals.

7. Limit How Often You Nap

Being confined to your home may make it more tempting to nap throughout the day. Between your cozy bed and quick access to television, finding the time to sleep during the day becomes much more desirable.

As with other aspects of your life, scheduling or moderating your naptimes helps you keep a familiar routine surrounding your daily life.

Naps have been shown to increase studying habits and regulate emotions. For this reason, naps have been suggested as a helpful tool for bettering your mental health.

Allowing yourself 10 to 20 minutes a day to nap is recommended. This short period of time boosts your awareness by reducing your sleepiness without throwing off your sleep schedule.

Building Healthy Habits With Good Sleep Hygiene

Although the future of the pandemic is uncertain, there are steps you can take to remain organized in your everyday life. Forming healthy habits around your sleep hygiene is a great way to start taking care of yourself during these times.

Calidad Home understands that sleep is extremely important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We provide luxurious bedroom and bathroom products to help you get a good night's sleep while focusing on self-care. 

Begin re-defining your sleep habits today by contacting us by phone at 01425 270283 or through our site.

January 07, 2021 — Michelle Smith