Has lockdown affected the way you sleep? Are you having trouble drifting off, or waking up at regular intervals during the night? Or is your sleep punctuated by strange, vivid dreams?
If so, don’t worry. This is all perfectly normal during times of uncertainty and stress – something business owners have not been in short supply of since the lockdown.
The problem is that getting a good night’s sleep is vital for your physical and mental health and well being. Here are some ways to get better sleep so you can be at your best and fighting fit for coming out of lockdown.
If you have a lack over sleep over three or four nights, this can really begin to affect your mental health and physical wellbeing. Here’s how to get better sleep.
Get into a routine
If you don’t have a set bedtime, it could be time to rethink your schedule – keeping to the natural rhythm of your body clock is essential. Known as your circadian rhythm, your body clock controls when you feel tired and when you feel awake, and getting into a regular routine of going to bed and waking up at a certain time makes a huge difference to sleep quality and energy levels the following day.
Breath through your nose
This might seem like the most natural thing in the world to most people, but if you struggle to breath through your nose at night, this can actually have a profound affect on sleep quality. If you do have difficulty breathing through your nose, particularly when lying down, try using Breathe Right strips to open your airways – you might go to bed looking like you’ve been punched in the nose, but they really do make a difference.
Stick to the morning news
There’s nothing but bad news doing the rounds right now and, even if you don’t realise it, this will all be chipping away at your mental health. So try to cut down on the amount of news you consume, particularly just before bed time. You should even take it a step further and shut down all screens an hour before bed, especially phone screens which emit blue light that can disrupt your ability to sleep well.
Cut down on alcohol and caffeine
An obvious one, but one that bears repeating anyway. As a stimulant, the effects of caffeine on sleep are obvious, but the effects of alcohol maybe not so much. Although a depressant – and one that more of us have turned to more regularly during lockdown – alcohol actually interferes with your sleep and causes you to wake up in the night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, give that nightcap a miss.
Switch off and wind down
Working from home can make it more difficult to switch off and wind down, as the boundaries between work and home life are blurred. If lockdown has seen you working from home for the first time, then you might really be struggling. So make sure you have definite start and end to your working day, just as you would in the office. If possible, work in a room different to the one you relax in. And turn off all work notifications once your working day is done. For more ways to make sure you switch off, check out Are you always turned on?