How Better Sleep Patterns Can Help You Cope With Mental Stress Amidst The Pandemic
Collective trauma caused while struggling with the pandemic has impacted people’s mental health tremendously.
Covid-19 has now become an ‘endemic’ in India that people have adapted to. It’s a sad truth how the world has been hit by such a calamity and people have learnt to ‘live with it’. It has made a lot of people resilient but has also subjected people to immense trauma which has impacted their lifestyle and made them get used to the ‘new normal’.
Collective trauma caused while struggling with the pandemic has impacted people’s mental health tremendously. Disturbance in eating and sleeping pattern is usually the first thing that happens, along with many other signs, when one goes through high levels of distress.
As said by E.Joseph Cossman “The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep”.
Sleep has its benefits not just to physical health but mental health too. Not being able to sleep well just one night can make you feel grumpy and irritated, imagine not having proper sleep on days in a row or even worse, having a poor sleeping schedule. We are a generation of people who prioritize work and all the other things by compromising on our sleep.
Having a good sleep regime can help one fight multiple problems and maintain good health. Some of the ways to develop a good sleep schedule are as follows:
1. Have a fixed time to sleep and wake up: Having a proper routine where you sleep and wake up at the same time everyday helps body get used to the routine and sleep comes easy. It sets your biological clock with your routine.
2. Go to bed only to sleep: Using bed only to sleep can build a helpful association where going to bed is synonymous to sleeping. Your brain may not be able to pick up cues for sleep time, if its engaged in various tasks.
3. Make your bedroom as comfortable as possible: Sleeping is the time to heal your body. So, making the environment restful, quaint and cozy by keeping it dark, cool and quiet will make it easier to fall asleep and have a good night’s sleep.
4. Restrain from using phone or spending time on screen at least one hour before going to sleep: Screen time stimulates our brain with new information and spending time on social media can make us restless/anxious, making it harder to fall asleep.
5. Establish a relaxing bed-time routine: Reading before going to sleep or engaging in any activity that makes you feel relaxed just before sleeping will send a signal to the brain that it’s time to sleep. It helps one unwind and rest.
6. Exercise: engage in physical activities to increase the quality and duration of sleep. Its also important to not consume caffeine and alcohol before bedtime as they would harm the quality of sleep.
These are some helpful strategies that we can use to have a good sleeping routine. Sleep is the time when our body heals and rejuvenates. It also contributes to consolidation of positive emotional content which helps us feel happy and relaxed. Taking small steps in improving your lifestyle by starting with having a sleep hygiene can help us overcome challenges life throws at us. Let this be the first step to make your health a priority and your company worthwhile for self.
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