Have you found yourself tossing and turning at night because your brain won’t turn off? Are you continually wondering, “what’s next?” in this strange, new world we find ourselves in?
You’re not the only one. It seems that losing sleep and full-blown insomnia are some byproducts of living amid a global pandemic.
And global pandemics seem to cause stress.
And stress causes sleep loss.
And sleep loss causes us to be more stressed.
You see where this is headed, don’t you? It’s a cycle.
Experts assert that sleep is the cornerstone of our lives. They’re not wrong. We sleep for one-third of our existence. Restful and rejuvenating sleep is essential for the quality of the other two-thirds of the life we live.
But, during this pandemic and social isolation, insomnia has become more of an issue. It’s affecting everyone in some way. Because we’re all spending more time indoors and our regular schedules have been completely upended, our bodies’ cycles, temperature, and circadian rhythm (body clock) have been disrupted.
To put it plainly–
Our bodies have no clue what time of the day it actually is.
Add to that the increased blue light exposure from screens and the decrease in melatonin (because of all the reasons above), and we’re setting ourselves up to not sleep.
So, what do we do to turn this thing around?
The goal is to get between 7 and 9 hours of restful sleep a night. Here are several tips to get on the right track:
- GET UP and OUT of bed at the same time every day.
- Move during the day to stay active and make your body tired.
- Stay awake ALL DAY and DON’T TAKE NAPS. (If you do end up napping, keep it to 20 minutes or less.)
- Get outside to get in the sun and get some much needed Vitamin D.
- Exercise needs to be done at least 3 to 6 hours before bedtime.
- Avoid eating before bed, especially sugar, alcohol, and simple carbs.
- Make sure you’re getting enough magnesium.
- H2O. Make sure you’re getting enough water throughout the day, just don’t drink a ton before going to bed, or you might be up in the night making a bathroom run (which can cause your body to wake up completely).
- NO SCREENS at least 45 – 60 mins before bed
- Be fully relaxed at least 45 minutes before going to bed, and keep your room dark, cool, and comfortable.
And most importantly, take time to pray and meditate on all the goodness you have in your life. Set your mind on things above. Cast your cares on the One who cares for you and never sleeps or takes His eyes off of you or your loved ones.
History has proven over and over again that the world will go on spinning, even through the chaos. This isn’t anything the earth or its Creator hasn’t seen before. We are not making light of these stressful times. But, we can rest easy and sleep well, knowing that we will get through this.