COVID-19 restrictions have our routines out of whack but if there’s one thing you really need to keep on track it’s your sleep.
Anxiety over money worries and job losses are common for many at this time. For others, there is stress around home-schooling children or keeping little ones occupied. One of the best things you can do to keep your home life on an even keel is to insist that everybody gets to bed at the same time as usual.
That means early nights for children, instead of allowing them to stay up and play board games or indulge in screen time for longer. For teens missing their friends and trying to keep up with assignments and school work, sleep has to be prioritised over Facetiming friends and staying up until the wee hours in front of the computer.
Poor sleep is a vicious cycle. When we don't sleep well, we can't face our responsibilities and stresses without a lot of difficulty. Similarly, when we get adequate sleep, our days are smoother and our thinking is clearer.
Also, keep in mind that getting enough quality sleep each night is a critical element in maintaining our immune systems. Right now, you want to do all you can to keep your immune system healthy and sleep is key.
- Help kids wind down at bedtime - Read a story or invent one together. Avoid screens; books are far more beneficial for healthy sleep.
- Maintain your usual routine - Go to bed at a reasonable hour and set your alarm to wake up at your usual time which might be different on weekdays and weekends.
- Avoid 'me time' temptations - Rest and sleep are the most valuable gifts you can give yourself. Drinking wine or eating heavy meals late in the evening or staying up late to capture those precious hours of child-free time won't necessarily serve you well.
- Keep a clean bedroom - A fragrant, fresh bed is so much more inviting. Wash sheets weekly - and doonas monthly - and dry them in the sun if you can. Vacuum and dust bedrooms weekly too and air out your pillows in the sunshine and fresh air. Consider using one of our essential sleep oil products to add a sleep trigger to the environment.
Try to look at the COVID-19 restrictions as a way of resetting healthy sleep patterns. If you were frazzled before and collapsing into bed, exhausted, way too late at night, this could be a wonderful opportunity for you and your family.