I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?

Ernest Hemingway

I don’t know about you, but the impact of the pandemic has made a mess of my sleep patterns. Stress and anxiety made it difficult for me to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

I was not being productive during the day and felt like a walking zombie, and with all the Zooming I’m doing I sometimes feel like a sitting Zoombie. 

I decided to do a bit of research on how to improve my sleep during these times and here are a few things I found: 

  • 35-40% of adults are sleep deprived in normal times.
  • On average we get 7 hours or less of good sleep.
  • We can go 30-40 days without food, but only 11 without sleep.

A few new challenges to sleep related to Covid-19:

  • Too many sleepless nights can aggravate both physical and mental health.
  • Disrupted daily routines worsen the sleep problem.
  • Irregular sleeping and waking times are hard on our wellbeing.

I’ve tried many things to remedy my lack and restlessness of sleep and here’s what is working for me:

  • Set a time for 30 minutes before bedtime to indicate to your body and brain, it is time to get ready for bed.
  • Shut off all technology when the evening alarm goes off. There are conflicting studies on the impact of blue light from our devices but regardless, it works as a great notification to your brain and body that you are getting ready to sleep.
  • Keep a boundary between your devices and your bed. Use your bed for sleep and sex. Don’t let your brain associate your bed with work. It will take longer for it to be aware it’s time for rest. This serves as a signal to your brain what your bed is used for and signals sleep time.
  • Keep the room cooler at night for a deep sleep. 68 degrees is ideal. It is much harder to fall asleep in heat than in cool.
  • We take in the equivalent of 174 newspapers in a single day. Do a brain dump. If there are things you want to be sure you remember, write them down or brain dump on your computer one hour before you head to bed.
  • What worked best for me is to have a set go to bed and wake up time. When we are normally working we have a routine bed time and a wake up time. It doesn’t have to be the same as it was when heading to work, but I find for me, that time still works best.

Sleep is God. Go worship.

Jim Butcher, Death Masks

What tips do you have for a good night’s sleep?

Written by Pat Obuchowski