Is there anyone out there that is not feeling her/his sleep is being negatively impacted by the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic? Personally, I find myself waking up more often at night and having difficulty falling back to sleep. When the mind starts racing to thoughts about health, safety, finances, etc, it is very difficult to get back to a restful sleep.
A good amount of sleep is important for these reasons:
- Poor sleep is linked to an increase in body weight
- Good sleep promotes heightened concentration and productivity
- Good sleep can enhance athletic performance
- Poor sleep increases the chances of stroke and heart disease
- Poor sleep impacts negatively on insulin secretion and blood sugar control
- Poor sleep is linked to depression
- Good sleep promotes better IMMUNE FUNCTION
- Poor sleep is linked to increased inflammation
- Sleep impacts on emotions and social interactions
Clearly, sleep is an extremely vital component to our lives. Many people experience sleep issues even before the horrific events occurring now.
So, how can a person improve her/his sleep patterns?
Trying to relax before bedtime is very important. Although tempting to find out the latest news, a very bad activity to engage in right before sleep is watching stressful news shows either on television or online. Staying off that cell phone, tablet or computer, i.e. limiting “screen time” is very important. Perhaps listening to relaxing music or some sort of spiritual program may relax a person into a better sleep.
Reducing caffeine intake also may help promote an improvement in sleep patterns.
I know that many people bristle at the thoughts of “sleeping pills” either OTC such as Tylenol PM or prescription meds such as Ambien and Lunesta. However, the trade-off of risk vs. benefit would show that if a person is having a horrendous sleep pattern, the benefits of these meds far outweigh the associated risks.
Sleep is important for many reasons and current events are placing more barriers to a good night’s sleep than ever before.
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