How To Sleep Well During COVID-19
Stress, especially during COVID-19, is a prime driver for people to not sleep well. The team at the Sleep Center at Comprehensive, a division of Comprehensive Cancer Centers, understands that many of these issues may beyond your control. There are ways to improve your sleep that you can control, and we recommend them, as better sleep is an important key to staying healthy by protecting your immune system.
When times are difficult, and sleep no longer comes easily and that stress from lack of sleep makes getting good sleep even more difficult.
The Sleep Center recommends that people take their sleep more seriously, even when times are good, as the habits build then carry over and can help make getting sleep easier when stress occurs. It’s also recommended people use the following five guidelines to set up patterns for better sleep, especially during the challenging times of COVID-19:
- Get Active – Exercise is extremely important, from reducing risks and improving mental health, to making good sleep easier. With physician guidance, it’s recommended to get active for at least 30 minutes per day, five days per week. This doesn’t mean working yourself out to the point of exhaustion, but rather just getting your blood moving and your muscles firing. Even a slow, relaxing walk can help meet these requirements.
- Eat Smarter – Just as with exercise, eating good food makes for good health outcomes. And as with exercise, these changes don’t have to be radical and jarring. They can be as simple as replacing a few unhealthy meals, with healthy ones. You can build upon changes like that to the diet for even more dietary improvement, far more easily than by making immediate wholesale changes.
- Eat Sooner – Start your day with a good breakfast, and end with a meal that’s not eaten immediately before you go to bed. This also includes snacks and drinks before bed. Avoid sugary drinks and caffeinated ones, and replace them with plain water.
- End Screen Time in Time – Before bed, as tempting as it may be to enjoy some TV or social media, it’s better to switch to reading something on paper or listening to some calming music. Light from screens tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime, when it’s actually time for bed. And social media can often present information that raises stress levels. Give yourself a good 30-60 minutes of screen-free relaxation before turning off the lights.
- Write it Out – There are studies that show that doing some writing before bed can help your mindset be better prepared for sleep by working out worries and concerns, and helping you focus on positive thoughts.
There are many things you can do to better prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep during any circumstances. If they don’t work, then you may have a sleep disorder that requires medical attention, and the team at Sleep Center at Comprehensive is here to help if that’s the case.
The following list are indicators that you may have a sleep disorder which requires attention (some of which may need to be monitored and shared by your sleep partners):
- More than 30 minutes needed each night to fall asleep
- Waking up several times each night and then have trouble falling back to sleep, or you wake up too early in the morning
- Feeling sleepy during the day, taking frequent naps, or falling asleep at the wrong times during the day
- Snoring loudly, snort, gasp, making choking sounds, or stopping breathing for short periods
- Creeping, tingling, or crawling feelings in your legs or arms that are relieved by moving or massaging them
- Episodes of sudden muscle weakness when angry or fearful or laughing
- Feeling as though you cannot move when you first wake up
How Sleep Center at Comprehensive Can Help
Sleep Center at Comprehensive is a team of board-certified pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, nurse practitioners, and administrative support staff who are dedicated to providing high-quality care to patients with sleep disorders. Sleep Center at Comprehensive is part of Lung Center of Nevada and Comprehensive Cancer Centers, which provides treatment and management of various lung diseases. Call us at 702-737-5864 for an evaluation.
The content in this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.