HOW TO FOLLOW A GOOD SLEEP HYGIENE IN TIMES OF PANDEMIC COVID? THE DECALOGUE OF GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS
2 June, 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic that we are suffering, we can be very affected in our routines and hygiene of life. We are also more exposed to stress and anxiety. This situation can create difficulties in achieving quality sleep.
In order to overcome this crisis with physical and mental health, it is essential to take care of our sleep. Let’s talk a little about its importance first.
What is sleep and why is it so important?
Sleep is one of the pillars of our health. It allows us to rest and regenerate to be energized during the day and thus, be able to deal with our daily activities and emotions.
Sleep is a vital necessity common to all mammals, fish, insects, and birds. During our entire lives we spend a third of the time sleeping. That is, the importance of this activity is essential in health, for the proper functioning of our body.
Apparently, it would be a (selective) classification center for the information acquired by our brain, and even a cleaner for the aggressions suffered by our body. Lack of sleep causes disastrous effects for our body: tiredness, decreased concentration, irascibility … A decrease in its quality or quantity can also favor serious pathologies (diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s … ) as well as domestic, traffic and work accidents.
It is very important for everyone to increase its quality and thanks to this our vitality and well-being.
How can we take care of our sleep in general?
One of the most important tools is respect for our biological clocks. In your daily routine try to respect these key points:
- Be in contact with exterior daylight an hour or even, better two. Prioritize this activity in the morning if you can.
- Follow our daily routines: try to carry out your daily activities at the same time as always: eat, play sports … One of the most important points is to get up every day at the same time. Getting up too late on the weekend creates jetlag and does not allow us to sleep well the rest of the week. It is also advisable to go to sleep at the same time each day. If you went to bed late on the weekend you can get up to an hour later.
- Take care of our bedroom. First of all, being in your sleeping room just to make love and rest. Thus, our mind associates space with rest and not with daytime activities. Do not take work or study material to bed. If you can’t sleep at night, get up and do relaxing tasks: reading on the sofa, puzzle … It is also very important to sleep in a cool space at a temperature of around 18º.
- Avoid exposure to blue light at night: it is highly recommended to leave the screens 1 hour or 2 hours before sleeping. Prioritize relaxing activities, talks with your loved ones, reading, meditation, a hot shower …
- Take care of our diet: don’t forget to eat in a balanced way every day. It is important to have a good daily supply of vegetables and fruits, whole grains and legumes. They will provide you with fibers, vitamins and minerals so that your body can have all the micronutrients it needs to get a restful sleep. Additionally, it is convenient to have a light and early dinner.
- Exercise daily and always before 20.00. It is very important to spend energy during the day to be able to easily fall asleep at night. In addition, it helps to release stress.
- Take a short nap after eating: about 10 or 20 minutes is ideal. Never nap for more than 30 minutes or after 4:00 p.m.
- Avoid the excitements and alcohol especially after 15.00. It also prevents smoking, alters sleep and can weaken your respiratory system, which will be more fragile against external aggressions such as viruses.
- Doing relaxing and meditation activities: one of the positive things about the crisis we are experiencing is the easy access to free stress management practices online, such as yoga or meditation. Do not hesitate, try to practice. Conscious breathing allows us to calm our minds and live these extraordinary moments better.
- Take care of excess exposure to the news: It is better not to watch the news too much. Once a day is sufficient. Above all, try to avoid it at night before going to sleep. Instead, prioritize sharing quality moments with your loved ones. If you live just take the opportunity to call your family or friends and if you use a better analog phone.
A big hug full of sleep from the Somnibel team
* The vast majority of people following these sleep hygiene guidelines improve their sleep and get a good night’s sleep with ease. However, if you notice that you do not succeed despite your efforts or if you think that you may suffer from some sleep pathology, consult your GP. In addition, many sleep centers are consulting online. Do not hesitate to contact a specialist.