Like many people, my sleep has taken a dive over the last few months while we’re all living through these dare-I-say-it, unprecedented times. I have been implementing a few practices which have been helping, so I thought today I would share some tips for sleeping better in quarantine. I’d love to hear yours as well!
Stick to a routine
This one is super important! I know lots of people now have less structure to their days from a work perspective, or at least more flexibility than they used to. So, it can be super tempting to just go to bed whenever you feel like it, and then sleep in as much as possible. For most of us that just results in poor overall sleep, so much as possible try and set up a routine to your sleep. The more structure you set around your going-to-bed and wake-up times the better you’ve likely to find your sleep is.
No news before bed
There’s so much happening in the world at the moment that it feels like there is an endless amount of news we could be consuming. Whilst staying up to day with what is happening is important, in particular with regards to restrictions and the like, there is definitely a point where this can become news overload. Setting a news-free zone while you are winding down for sleep will help your mind switch off more easily and also means you’ll be reducing the amount of screen time before bed as well.
Keep your bed a work-free-zone
This one may not be possible if you don’t have other options, but whereas possible keeping your bed a sleeping zone rather than a working zone is an excellent tip. It helps ensure your brain associates your bed with sleeping, which has been shown to make it easier to fall asleep. I know it can be super tempting given how comfy it looks, but if you can avoid it you’ll thank yourself come sleep time!
Get fresh air
Making the most of our one hour of exercise outside is super important for many reasons. Regular exercise and fresh air will also help you sleep better as not only will you have tired out your body somewhat, you have also exposed yourself to Vitamin D and sparked your natural circadian rhythms. It will also help reduce stress levels which are also key to sleeping better in quarantine.
Be careful with naps
Spending all our time at home can mean that a sneaky afternoon nap becomes even more tempting. Whilst a short afternoon nap isn’t necessarily a bad thing, try and avoid a long nap or one later in the day otherwise you’ll likely find it much harder to sleep when you really need to.
Limit your caffeine intake
If you haven’t been sleeping well it can be very tempting to try and counteract this with extra coffee to get you through the work day. All this does is enter you into a cycle of not being able to fall asleep again at the end of the day! It can be tricky to balance, but try and limit the amount of caffeine you are drinking, and stop completely later in the day – personally I stop around midday. It really will help with sleeping better in quarantine.
Properly wind down
When all we are doing is moving from our desk/dining table to the couch to bed it can be easy to not actively wind down before bed. As part of your daily routine try and establish a wind down practice that will help signal to your mind that it’s almost sleep time. This should definitely include stopping using any electronic devices and instead might be when you read a book, have an herbal tea, do some stretching – whatever it is you enjoy.
Find ways to relax
This tip is tied to the previously one, but is definitely important to sleeping better in quarantine! With most of us feeling more stressed at the moment we need to really focus in on activities and practices that help us relax. For me this been things like doing puzzles rather than watching TV, listening to more music than podcasts, and reading lots more books. My directly before bed routine at the moment includes applying the Base Collective sleep balm (I love the lavender in it!) and reading a book in bed for about 30 minutes. It has made a world of difference to my sleep!