A good night sleep is key but many haven’t had any since the lockdown started. Picture:pexels/@cottonbro.
A good night sleep is key but many haven’t had any since the lockdown started. Picture:pexels/@cottonbro.

Insomnia in lockdown? Here are 10 ways to overcome it

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published Aug 27, 2020

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The past five months have been stressful for most South Africans. With everything that has happened, including people losing their jobs and having no source of income, sleep became a myth to many.

And to those who could nap, their sleeping patterns changed. You would find people tweeting all night like it’s a Sunday, where Twitter folks gather to discuss various topics.

Now that the situation is slowly getting better with the country moving to level 2 and most activities resuming, people have also returned to work and are expected to show up with a bit of enthusiasm.

To help with the latter, a good night’s sleep is key. As such, Duo Calms shared a few tips to help with insomnia:

Limit your caffeine

Caffeine interrupts the flow of melatonin in your body, which is the chemical that sends you to sleep.

Avoid alcohol before bed

Alcohol blocks REM sleep, which can cause migraines and poor memory.

Exercise

You don’t have to do any vigorous work-outs, but moving your body can help reduce the stress hormone that often keeps us awake, allowing for a relaxing and deep sleep.

Create a routine

Having a bedtime ritual can signal to the body that it is time to go to sleep. You can either take a warm bath, read a book or listen to some calming music.

Avoid long naps

It can be a challenge if you are extremely tired during the day, but having a nap throws off your sleep cycle and will make falling asleep at night much harder.

Turn off electronics

Stay off your computer or cellphone before bedtime. The blue light from the screen delays the release of melatonin and causes you to become more alert, throwing off your body’s natural sleep schedule.

Create a dark environment

Turn off the lights and make sure the temperature in your room is cool. Attempting to sleep, when the room is too light, could interfere with your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock) and make it difficult to fall asleep.

Journal

If you’re stressed, anxious or have had a bad dream, try writing your thought down on a journal and don’t turn to your cellphone for distraction. Writing down your thoughts calms you and allows your brain to rest.

Implement breathing exercises

Learn to meditate. Deep breathing exercises can activate your body’s relaxation state, lowering your heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels.

Spend more time outside

Whether you’re working from home or at the office, take some time off to enjoy sunlight during the day. That alone helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm, improving daytime energy and night-time sleep quality.

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