When the quarantine shut everything down in March, many friends I talked to actually said they were secretly enjoying their time at home. They like taking life at a slower pace. Rather than going out to dinner or the movies, they were watching A LOT of movies and shows at home via Netflix, Hulu, etc. In fact, some people confessed that they no longer have anything left to watch. They have watched it all. I mean, it doesn’t help that the next episode begins in 2 seconds.
Furthermore, the disruption to our schedules didn’t help. I know I’ve lost track of time while working from home. On several occasions, I’ve even forgotten what day it is. Plus, a heightened level of anxiety doesn’t help. Now, instead of sleeping soundly, you may be up worrying about health, finances, and events beyond your control. Lastly, the excess of screentime we are experiencing isn’t doing us any favors when it comes to sleeping well. Blue light from our screens stimulates your brain making it harder to wind down and relax. And, it also suppresses melatonin which is a necessary hormone that helps us sleep.
Quarantine Caused Many to Adopt Poor Sleep Habits
Gradually, over time, many people began to stay up later, and later into the night. There wasn’t anything to get up for, so why not? And why not have a drink or two or three with that movie? Let’s face it, most of us had more important things to worry about. So, we weren’t really concerned about our sleep habits.
Now, 6 months later, guess what? Many people are reporting that they aren’t sleeping well. The complaints range from can’t fall asleep, can’t stay asleep, sleeping the next day away, etc etc. Now, the effects of what happened to our bodies and our circadian rhythms during quarantine have become an issue.
Get Back On Track and Sleep Better
So, how do we get back on track? Now, that some kids are going back to school and businesses are reopening it’s important that we sleep well and feel well-rested to begin the day anew. Furthermore, we know that sleeping well has major benefits for our immune functioning, physical health, and mental health.
If you have fallen into bad sleep habits during COVID. Know that you’re not alone. You can take back control of your sleep cycles and easily break your bad habits by implementing the tips below.
Tips to Encourage Better Sleep and Good Mental Health:
Wake up at the same time each morning and go to bed at a decent time each night.
It’s important to try and get on some sort of sleep schedule. This means waking up at a regular time. At least on the weekdays. Try to mimic your normal schedule as closely as possible. Then, set a decent bedtime for yourself. This includes building in time to wind-down from the day and your worries. Things like reading a book (not on an iPad or Kindle), stretching, meditating, and other relaxing activities can help!
Avoid excessive napping.
One nice part of quarantine has been the flexibility it has afforded us. For many, this includes napping, especially when there’s not much else to do. But, this doesn’t help you fall asleep at night. So, if you’re going to nap, try to nap earlier in the day for a shorter amount of time.
Stop eating about 2-3 hours before bedtime.
If you’ve been overeating during quarantine, then you may be having trouble sleeping because of digestion issues. You may have an upset stomach or indigestion. Not eating so close to bedtime will help you avoid these issues. Remember, avoid caffeine and sugar in the late afternoon and evening when possible. Caffeine and sugar can make it hard to fall asleep at night.
Cut down on your screentime before bed.
Many of us are guilty of “doom scrolling” or trying to fill idol time on their phones or tablets when they can’t sleep. As I mentioned above, screentime and blue light can have a detrimental effect on your sleep. Therefore, you should set a time each day to turn off your devices. Also, if you’re on screens all day, like so many of us are right now, then consider investing in a pair of blue light glasses to avoid the negative side effects of blue light.
Get more exercise, eat well, and cut back on alcohol.
This may be an obvious wellness tip, but it is important when discussing proper sleep hygiene. Taking care of yourself and your body will not only help you fall asleep faster but it will help you sleep soundly.
Counseling Can Help You Sleep Better
When you are not sleeping well, and finding yourself staying up feeling anxious or depressed, counseling can help. You don’t have to deal with these emotions alone. The therapy team at Wellview Counseling in Roswell, GA can help you work through your thoughts and emotions so they don’t become so overwhelming you can’t sleep. They can also teach you useful coping techniques to help you deal with uncomfortable feelings.
Begin Counseling in Roseville, GA
If you’re interested in learning more about therapy, we would love to speak with you and discuss the ways the therapists at Wellview Counseling can help you feel better and thrive. Follow these steps to begin counseling in Roswell, GA:
- Contact our counseling clinic to schedule a consultation call with one of our therapists,
- Meet with a therapist to ask any questions you may have about therapy at Wellview Counseling
- Begin therapy in Georgia and take care of your mental health during this challenging time.
Other Services Offered at Wellview Counseling
Wellview Counseling is a counseling center located in Roswell GA that offers a variety of mental health services to help you or your loved ones find healing and growth. Our therapy services include play therapy, child counseling, individual counseling, social skills groups for kids, therapy for postpartum anxiety and depression, trauma and PTSD treatment, chronic illness counseling, family therapy, and positive discipline parent education opportunities. If you’re unable to visit our office in Roswell, GA, consider online therapy in Georgia. Contact our Roswell, GA mental health clinic to learn more about online therapy and the many ways we can help you or your loved one.
About the Author: Ashley Bobo, LCSW
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