Change can be stressful—and there’s been a lot of that lately. The restlessness caused by change can manifest as poor sleep—but there are ways to get back on track.
Staying indoors all day may affect your sleep cycle—particularly if you’re working from home for the first time. Getting outside during daylight hours can help, especially if you combine that time with exercise, even in moderation.
Small rituals at night can pay big dividends for a deeper slumber and a more energized outlook in the morning. The National Sleep Foundation provides 10 healthy habits for deeper, more restful sleep:
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. It’s important for your body to have a regular sleeping schedule.
- Set a relaxing bedtime routine, such as listening to calming music, reading a book, or taking a warm bath.
- Make sure your bedroom is cool. Your body temperature naturally decreases to initiate sleep. A bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees helps promote sleep.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet. Turn off noisy distractions such as a TV. Silence unwanted noise with earplugs or use “white noise,” such as from a fan, sound machine or an app.
- Make sure your bedroom is dark. Use blackout shades to block out unwanted light, and avoid “blue light” from TVs, phones, tablets, and other devices before you go to bed.
- Sleep on a mattress and pillows that are comfortable and supportive. No one type of either is best for everyone.
- Finish eating meals at least a few hours before bedtime.
- Exercise regularly. A low-impact fitness program, like walking, swimming, or yoga is helpful for managing pain and stiffness and improving sleep.
- Try to limit how many caffeinated products you consume in the afternoon.
- Alcohol and nicotine in your body can disrupt sleep and can cause nighttime waking. For optimal sleep, skip them close to bedtime or altogether.
If you have tried one or more of these strategies and are still having trouble sleeping or addressing related stress, cognitive behavioral therapy is an option. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences licenses thousands of mental health professionals statewide. More information is available at bbs.ca.gov, and a Department of Consumer Affairs professional licensee can be looked up at search.dca.ca.gov.