Life

Strung out? Four tips on how to get a better night's sleep despite coronavirus worries

Struggling to switch off at bedtime? Liz Connor shares an expert's tips for getting sleep back on track during the pandemic

Create a sleep environment that's suited to you and your needs
Liz Connor (PA)

DR ARUN Thiyagarajan of Bupa Health Clinics (bupa.co.uk), shares tips for beating insomnia in the pandemic...

1. Maintain a routine: Try to wake up and go to bed at a similar time to before lockdown began. This will help you maintain a regular sleeping pattern – you should be aiming for seven and a half to eight and a half hours per night. Avoid napping during the day and make time to wind down before bed to help you get to sleep more easily. You can do this by either reading, practising mindfulness or taking time away from technology.

2. Limit caffeine, nicotine and alcohol: Drinking tea, coffee or energy drinks during the day can impact your sleep at night. While people process caffeine differently, as a general rule it's recommended that we stop drinking caffeine after 3pm – consider switching to decaf or herbal teas after this. Alcohol may make you feel sleepy and reduce the time it takes for you to fall asleep. However, once it wears off, it is likely you will sleep more lightly and have more disturbances during the night. Cutting down alcohol can also help manage anxiety.

3. Manage your news consumption: It's normal to feel anxious during this time but these worries can keep you awake at night and affect how you sleep. There are lots of techniques you can use to help reduce anxiety, such as talking about how you are feeling with a close friend or family member. Another good idea is managing your news consumption throughout the day, and if what you are reading is making you feel overwhelmed, try to turn it off, focus on something else, or go for a walk to clear your head.

4. Think about your sleep environment: Try to create a space that is cool, dark and quiet, as this will make it easier to fall asleep. Some people use sleep stories to send them to sleep, or listen to calming music. Others will sleep better if their phone is in a different room.

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