Now more than ever though it’s so important to focus on your sleep during the COVID-19 pandemic. We get that you probably don’t want to hear any more about the COVID-19. It’s hard to digest all the information coming out on an hourly basis and be constantly pivoting to adjust to the recommendations and stay safe.
As always though, and especially during these challenging times, Good Night Sleep Siteremains focused on you and your family’s sleep and making sure everyone is sleeping as best they can. And hey, if we can point out a silver lining in all of this, the recommendations by experts everywhere to practice social distancing and self-isolation (if you’ve travelled or are experiencing symptoms) means that everyone has the time to get the sleep they need.
Sleep is such a critical element when it comes to good overall health. Unfortunately, disrupted sleep, lack of sleep and sleep disorders can put our safety at risk, affecting mental well-being, lost productivity and a general decline in health, at every age.
5 Ways To Help You Sleep Well During The COVID-19 Pandemic
With everyone’s routines disrupted, it’s important to make changes so that you and your family are still functioning as optimally as possible. When you make sleep a priority, you’ll be able to build a healthy family routine, support your immune system and help everyone feel as good as they can in these times of uncertainty.
Keep in mind that prioritizing sleep should be the goal for everyone in the family. As much as its parents that are feeling the heaviest weight of this situation, don’t discount how much children, even babies, are also feeling anxious and unsettled, even if they don’t know why or don’t know how to express it.
To help, we’ve compiled some helpful tips and advice on how to sleep well while managing life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1 – Audit your sleep spaces.
Not surprisingly, people have been posting that with all this time at home they’ve gotten a jump on their spring cleaning. It’s always a good idea to get your home organized, since that’s been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, but we want to make sure the bedrooms in your house have been part of the spring cleaning too.
In order to set your family up for sleep success, clear out any clutter in the bedrooms. While we know people can feel like they are pressed for space with everyone spending so much time at home, it’s important to try and keep your bedroom as a space that supports good sleep as much as possible.
If your kid’s bedrooms have become play spaces out of necessity, make sure you provide them with adequate bins to be able to clean up and put things away at night. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but by including nightly bedroom clean up as part of your routine, it will be easier for them to drift off to sleep in a space that is calm and organized.
2 – Maintain a structured sleep schedule.
In addition to your sleep space, it’s also important to keep your family on a healthy sleep schedule. It can be so tempting to let the rules go out the window during this time, but if you let things go off the rails, you’ll certainly start to see some negative repercussions.
If possible, bedtimes and wake times should remain the same on a daily basis. Babies right through to adults thrive on routine, so not only will this help everyone get the sleep they need, but it will also set the stage for a positive day that will help everyone be more successful.
Not too convinced? Remember, we do support the 80/20 ruleso there’s certainly still time for those special family movie nights that can be a needed source of joy right now.
3 – Step away from the screens.
This one can feel tough, we get it. Both kids and adults are likely having more screen time than usual thanks to no school, working from home, and a news cycle that is constantly updating. While it can feel empowering to feel informed, it’s exhausting too. And if we’re being honest, a lot of the news coming at us is scary and unsettling. It’s hard not to carry this around with us all day, even into bedtime.
Not only do we still recommend that all screens go off an hour before bedtime to support the production of melatonin, (read about how to make a family docking station) but we also recommend instituting more breaks throughout the day where social media, news, video games and just about anything else gets turned off. Too much daytime screen time can fuel anxiety and effect the ability for our brains to relax and slow down enough to feel tired.
When it comes to teens specifically, we know that online is the only way for them to currently get that important peer to peer time. However, be mindful of how much social media can be a significant sleep disrupter and make a point to talk to them about why limits are important. More specifically, teens should not go into their rooms at night with their phones – this is where a docking station really comes in handy.
4 – Stay active.
Staying active supports good mental health, is a smart way to pass some time and helps build your sleep drive. In addition, many children need that physical activity to help release anxiety and pent up energy that support better sleep at night.
While we fully support abiding by the recommended rules to avoid all public spaces and playgrounds, going for walks as a family is something that should be included in your daily routine. Taking a walk around the neighbourhood makes it easy to practice social distancing while still getting fresh air and exercise.
Thankfully, there are also plenty of other online free workout tools available. We recommend Cosmic Kids Yogaon YouTube for kids and Fitness Blenderfor workouts the whole family can do. If you usually go to a local fitness studio, be sure to check their website or Facebook page as many are offering online sessions as well. You can also keep it super simple and throw on some music for a family dance party!
5 – Build in time for mindfulness.
Mindfulness can be a powerful tool when trying to stop a negative sleep cycle. It’s also a great thing to incorporate before you get to the point of dealing with insomnia or difficulty falling asleep. Keep an open mind and encourage everyone in your family to practice mindfulness as a way to calm down, de-stress and be ready for sleep.
Take a look at the following resources:
Sleep – It’s Here To Get You Through
It has long been said that a good night’s sleep can make you feel better. Not only can it give your overall health a boost, but it also goes a long way in helping you have a bit more patience to manage life in this unprecedented time. And remember, it’s not just adults that need to focus on getting the sleep we need. Well rested kids can focus on tasks better (homeschooling, anyone?) and manage their emotions better too. All of these things support a happier home as we move forward and find ways to thrive in all the uncertainty.
Need some help to get your family’s sleep on track? Contact us to learn more about our support packages. We’re still providing phone and email support during the COVID-19 pandemic.