What to do if you're struggling to sleep in lockdown
For most of us, self-isolation has disrupted our daily routines. For many of us, this has affected our sleep. Honor, 18, shares her tips for if you're struggling to sleep during lockdown.
With the recent coronavirus issues, a lot of us have been stripped of our normal daily routines. Personally, this change has impacted my sleep. The change of structure means I’m not filling my days with what I usually would be doing, therefore at the end of the day, I’m not as physically and mentally exhausted.
Sleep is so important for our mental health, so if like me, you are also struggling to sleep at the moment, I’ve picked out some things that have helped me to relax and fall asleep quicker. These tips may work for you too.
1. Avoid looking at the news before sleeping
I’ve noticed that if I read or watch the news before I sleep, it leaves me with anxiety which then keeps me awake and thinking. Catching up on the news in the morning is easier for me as it gives me a day to then process what’s happening instead of trying to process it at night.
2. Create a routine for yourself
Creating a routine for yourself can help provide a feeling of normality which for me has taken away a lot of the stress. Having a routine also helps me to feel calm and in control. Try to stick to the same sleep schedule at night so your body can find its natural rhythm again.
3. Try to go to sleep and wake up at consistent times
Not having to wake up for anything in particular can lead us to keep sleeping during the day and stay up into the early hours. It’s okay to do this on occasion, but doing this every day can become damaging, particularly to those who struggle with mental illness, as sleep is crucial to our health. If you wake up early you'll be more tired by the end of the day, making it easier to sleep.
4. Reduce irregular or long naps in the daytime
When you’re stuck inside all day, it can be tempting to take naps because there’s not much else to do. For some people, taking naps helps them function better throughout the day. However, if this is something you don’t usually do, it may affect your ability to sleep at night, which can have knock-on effects for your mental health.
5. Have a relaxing bath or shower
Taking time to have a relaxing bath or shower can help your overall quality of sleep, while also helping you fall asleep faster. The cooling down of your body helps create a stronger sleep urge which can also send you into a deeper sleep. This is something that has really helped with my sleep struggles over the past few weeks. If you don’t want to take a full bath or shower, even soaking your feet in warm water can help you to sleep better.
At this time it is hard not to feel anxious about the future and what’s to come. It feels like a post-apocalyptic time with supermarkets empty and towns deserted. It’s natural to feel worried about yourself and your loved ones, and it’s normal for there to be a change in sleep and eating patterns at the moment. But if you feel like you are losing control of things, remember that you’re not alone and this will not last forever.
Author: Honor, 18
If you're struggling to get enough sleep, or sleeping too much, have a look at our sleep problems page for tips, advice and suggestions on where you can get help.