March 18 is the World Sleep Day, annual celebration carried out since 2008 to disseminate and raise awareness about the importance of a good night’s rest as well as publicize the different sleep disorders.
We know that our quality of life would improve substantially if we dedicated the time necessary to night rest since it is of quality. The sleep disorders they are associated with cardiovascular diseases, obesity, neurological, endocrine and immune disorders.
Nonetheless, the percentage of Spaniards who sleep poorly (58%) exceeds those who have a good night’s sleep (43%) and the 6.8 hours on average that Spaniards sleep on weekdays is far from the 8 recommended in adulthood.
What makes us sleep badly?
Factors such as the current lifestyle, where the multitask, the overstimulation and stress are present in our day to day, as well as the indiscriminate use of electronics devices until practically the moment we get into bed, they have a lot to do with it.
For a year, we have been living a pandemic world with more than obvious health and economic consequences. Different countries have been forced to adopt measures of lockdown and different restrictions to contain the spread of the virus, not without consequences for the physical and mental health of citizens, increasing the insomnia problems and circadian rhythm disorders.
We have been forced to telework, enabling our home and in many cases installing the workplace in the bedroom itself, doing difficult to disconnect and separate from personal time and leisure work, and making it difficult to relax prior to sleep, so important to sleep well.
Confinement and current restrictions limit our social interactions and make it difficult to carry out physical exercise, factors necessary for our emotional well-being and synchronizers of our wake-sleep cycle. Limitations in our activity have increased the time spent on electronic devices. His use before sleep not only does it delay the onset of sleep, but it fragments it throughout the night.
Fear and anxiety contracting the disease, uncertainty, concerns about the family economy … All these factors can worsen a pre-existing insomnia or initiate sleep problems in individuals who did not suffer from them prior to the pandemic.
During quarantine periods, either from having contracted COVID or from contact, everyone these factors are accentuated, losing the external synchronizers of our biological clock and facilitating the appearance of sleep disorders.
What can we do to sleep better during the pandemic?
Key points: keep our biological clock synchronized with the environment and relax the two hours before going to sleep. How?:
Set up fixed hours going to bed and getting up, modifying them for a maximum of half an hour on weekends
- Respect the hours of sleep: the hours necessary for our physical, mental and emotional well-being vary according to age. An adult needs 7.5 to 8 hours each night.
Exponte to natural light in the early hours of the day (from 8:00 to 12:00).
Makes exercise of moderate intensity every day, at least 30 minutes, avoiding it 3 hours before bedtime. If you can go for a walk, run or some other aerobic exercise outdoors in the early hours of the day, ideal.
Set some fixed meal times.
If you do siesta, which is not late or longer than 20 minutes.
Make a light dinner, at least two hours before going to bed.
From that moment on, forget about electronic devices until the next day and create a relaxed routine to prepare yourself, avoiding stimulating TV shows or any other stimulating activity.
- Different room to work, separation of leisure time and work time … (find info on telework and sleep).
You can always combine these guidelines with natural measures to help you relax or fall asleep like the Valerian, lemon balm, passionflower and even Melatonin.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.