The inability to sleep and insomnia was quietly becoming a pandemic among Brits before the Coronavirus pandemic hit. And the stress caused by lockdowns, unemployment, addiction to screens and the general disruption to our normal routines can’t help but exacerbate the situation.
So this World Sleep Day, let’s go back to basics with some helpful tips on how to get some much needed quality sleep.
- Have a consistent sleep schedule
No matter how your life has been affected, it’s important to keep a regular routine in order to get good sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same time helps maintain the circadian rhythm – the body’s 24-hour internal clock. Also, try and wake up earlier as you’ll feel more tired by the end of the day, helping you to fall asleep.
- Create a personalised bedtime routine
Having a relaxing ritual before bed is a great way to notify your mind and body that it’s time to go to sleep. Try a warm bath or reading a book. Other activities you could incorporate into your bedtime routine include completing your skincare routine, practicing some mindfulness meditation, or listening to a relaxing podcast – as long as it helps you to unwind and feel calm before bed, anything works.
- Switch off your electrical devices
The internet has proved to be an invaluable tool for communication and entertainment during a time in which people across the world have been mandated to self-quarantine or shelter in place. However, bright lights before bed can stimulate us, again interfering with a person’s circadian rhythm. Turning off your electronic devices an hour before bedtime is a powerful intervention to help with sleep – go on try it for two weeks!
- Consider trying a traditional herbal remedy (THR)
Using a herbal remedy can help to relieve stress and improve sleep. Valerian root is a popular choice that has long been used to promote relaxation, reduce stress and improve sleep, depending on the quantities consumed. Traditional herbal remedies such as Kalms Night One-A-Night Tablets can be used to improve sleep without experiencing drowsiness the next day, while Kalms Day helps to relieve stress.
- Get outside
Lockdown makes it all too easy to sit indoors at our desk all day but getting outside and exposing yourself to natural light plays an important role in keeping your body clock in balance. Exposure to outdoor light helps to regulate a hormone in your body called melatonin, which helps to regulate your sleep and wake patterns. Getting outside when it’s light is especially important at this time of year when daylight hours are much shorter.
- Eat well and exercise
With lots of us still at home, it’s easy to spend a lot of time sitting and making unhealthy food choices. Studies have shown that regular exercise and being active during the day can help you sleep better by relieving any worry or anxiety you have. Whether it’s taking a brisk walk at lunch or completing an online workout, make sure you keep your body moving each day.
Maintaining a healthy diet is also linked to good sleep. Avoid eating large meals late at night, as these can cause indigestion and affect your sleep. Try and have a light dinner earlier in the evening and drink enough water during the day.