Stressful times often come with a host of physical and psychological consequences – and we can all agree the Coronavirus pandemic has been a stressful time. The one area of our lives that almost always suffers in times like these is sleep.
Yet, if we want to remain healthy, we need to ensure our bodies are getting plenty of opportunities to rest and recharge. It’s the only way for us to take on life’s challenges without sacrificing our immune system, or worse, our mental and overall health.
So, whether you’ve been dealing with an illness, stress at work, or simply have too much on your plate, these are some of the best eco-friendly ways to tackle your sleep issues.
Want to have a great night’s rest, all the while reducing your carbon footprint? The solution is crazy simple. All you need to do is unplug.
At least two hours before you plan on going to bed, turn off your digital devices, including your TV, computer, tablet, and smartphone. The reason to do this has to do with the blue light emitted by LEDs. It suppresses the production of melatonin in the body, keeping you alert and preventing you from falling asleep.
So, instead of spending your evenings watching Netflix or playing Candy Crush, you could opt for a book, listen to some gentle music, or play board games with friends or family. You’ll notice the results in just a couple of days, guaranteed.
During the pandemic, a lot of people have been stuck at home, drastically cutting back on time spent in movement. And although the most visible consequences of a sedentary lifestyle include poor physical fitness and heart health, it can also impact sleep quality.
Recent research has shown exercise can be just as effective at curing insomnia as sleeping pills, so try to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of movement into your day. If you really want to hack your biorhythm, try to include a leisurely morning walk or yoga session in the sunshine right after waking up. This will get you energized, preparing you to take on the day’s tasks with ease.
3. Change your habits
Before you go out and buy a bunch of sleep aids or medication, try to identify whether the cause of your poor sleep is something you can fix naturally.
Sleeping position, pillow height, or even the way we breathe can decrease the quality of our rest. For example, people who breathe through their mouths tend to expel too much CO2, which can lead to a higher rate of breathing and less efficient body function.
So, if you’re worried about bad habits influencing your sleep, spend a couple of weeks tracking the quality of your rest. All you need is a pen and paper, and it might show you areas you can begin to solve without having to revert to gadgets or pills.
4. Watch what you eat and drink
One of the easiest ways to hack your rest is to know what foods to avoid at night. In addition to caffeine and sugar, try to stay away from alcohol and greasy meals as well.
A balanced diet will not only give your body all the macro and micronutrients it needs to remain healthy. Even more, it will positively support your circadian rhythm, making sure you sleep when you should, and you are energized when it’s work time.
5. Manage your anxiety
It’s completely normal to feel anxious during uncertain times. Having to worry about your family’s health is nothing, if not stressful. Still, managing anxiety is vital to getting a good night’s rest.
According to Harvard Health, 50% of those suffering from an anxiety disorder will experience sleep issues. This means paying attention to mental health is an essential step towards becoming well-rested.
If you feel like the pandemic has affected your mental health, turn your focus to self-care and relaxation. Practice mindfulness, meditate, or give yourself time to wind down with a cup of herbal tea. If, however, none of these techniques help, it’s best to turn to a professional.
Sleep issues are quite widespread among today’s generations, and that comes as no surprise. After all, most people seem to be leading fast-paced, stressful lives, with plenty of worries that affect them both on a personal and a professional level. Yet, when this type of lifestyle starts affecting sleep, physical, and mental health, it’s time to take action.
So, take a good look at your sleep routine and see whether there are any areas you could improve. Who knows, even a small change, like taking a morning stroll, could help you become more rested and energized, all the while being kind to your environment as well.