Well in Mind: How to Sleep Despite Pandemic Stress
We are all experiencing stress at levels and in ways we have never seen. Even if you have ways to manage stress, it doesn’t mean the stress is gone, it’s just lessened, but perhaps not enough to be resting well. The lack of routine and being at home means our routines are off, and our sleep habits and routines are likely off as well. We’re also having more vivid and more stressful dreams!
- Wake up at a consistent time, whether it’s a day off or not. Waking up at the same time is the anchor to your circadian rhythm, and if you are always waking up at different times your body’s natural rhythm is always off. The morning time is when we have more dream sleep, so if you’re having more vivid, stressful dreams, waking up earlier will help eliminate some of these stressful dreams!
- Practice Gratitude before bed. Research shows that practicing gratitude before bed helps people fall asleep faster and have more positive dreams. Here’s one way to do it: think about what/who you are grateful for, why, and how that person or thing or experience brings value to your life.
- Decrease caffeine consumption. Research shows that if you consume caffeine after 2 pm, the quality of your sleep is severely impacted. You might be able to fall asleep, but the sleep you get will leave you feeling fatigued when you wake up. Decrease slowly, don’t go cold turkey!
- Limit alcohol consumption. Drinking more than 2 drinks before bed gives you more energy than relaxation, so drinking beyond 2 drinks per night will impair sleep.
- Move your body! Sleep is recovery, but if your body has nothing to recover from, it’s not going to need to go into recovery. Get creative with how to move your body at home or in the office. It lowers stress and will increase your body’s routine of falling into rest at the end of the day.
Well In Mind is here for you. Call 815-933-2240 to schedule an appointment or to ask about your EAP benefits.