We are constantly being told that, amid this pandemic, we are getting an easy ride. Working from home, for those who aren’t in a place to do it, is often assumed to be “not working at all, but still getting paid to sit on the sofa”. It couldn’t be further from the truth, of course, but there is no doubt that certain conventions are hard to let go of, and one of those is that it’s not a real day’s work unless it includes a commute.
Another assumption is that, because more of us are telecommuting, we get to have extra time in bed. In a practical sense, this may be true, but does it mean we are getting enough sleep? With all of the worries that come with such extraordinary times as we are living through, it can be hard to get the rest we need.
Why sleep is so essential for your health
Sleep allows us to feel rested, refreshes us for the day ahead, and helps us compartmentalize the day just ended. Amid the current issues, it also has another incredibly important purpose; sleep contributes to our immune system. If you are struggling for sleep, then your body probably isn’t producing the appropriate amount of cytokines (a protein that bolsters our immunity). There obviously couldn’t be a worse time to have lowered immunity than right now.
What can you do if you aren’t getting enough sleep?
There is no shortage of advice out there on how to improve your sleep, much of which can be marked down as “well-intentioned but useless”. We could tell you to “stop thinking about things that worry you”, but this is 2020. Everything worries everyone. More practical advice would be to go for a walk before bed, if possible, or try a Harvest shop for sleep-assisting supplements. Just breaking the general cycle of insomnia can have beneficial results. Getting up and going to bed at set times will help, but it won’t always work.
How to handle the morning after a sleepless night
Short of extreme measures with unpleasant side effects, it is close to impossible to guarantee sleep, so having a practical go-to routine for the following day is probably wise. You should get up at the same time you usually would, and do as many things as normally as you can. During the day, it is essential to stay hydrated, as this will mitigate the discomfort of sleeplessness. Coffee is good for alertness, but don’t down cup after cup or you’ll become jittery. And if you can sneak in a power nap, do so; forget what people tell you about its impact on night-time sleep, because it’s a lack of night-time sleep that’s put you here.
Sleeplessness is affecting many of us during this time, in part because even after several months it’s still a bizarre situation. The most important thing right now is focusing on your well-being, and anything that helps you sleep healthily is worth a try.