As the COVID-19 pandemic finally starts to go away as vaccines get rolled out, stress management will be important to keep an eye on, as the so-called “new normal” gives way to the old ways. Just as stress at the beginning of the pandemic was tough to avoid with so many new changes, it will be a lot of the same as the nation transitions back to a level of normalcy.
Stress can cause many issues, and one of the most glaring is with the ability to get a night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep helps reduce stress, and reduced stress makes it easier to sleep. Here are 5 tips to help you get a better night’s sleep as day-to-day routines start to change again for many people in the post-pandemic world.
Stick to a Schedule
It can, no doubt, be difficult to predict what kind of work schedules will exist after the restrictions are lifted, but if you’re able to discuss the transitions periods with your colleagues, you can start getting back into a sleep cycle now that will align with your projected work schedule. Sleep data aplenty points to a schedule being one of the most important things you can do to ensure you’re getting enough sleep.
Getting on to that schedule is easier said than done, but these next four tips will help you dose off, making a schedule easier to master.
Another thing that was flipped on its head by the pandemic was the ability for many to maintain a regular exercise regimen. If you were one of the many people who decided to forego regular exercise during the pandemic, this could definitely be a reason that you find it difficult to sleep. Many online classes are offered for things like yoga and personal training, and these options are expected to continue to exists even after storefronts are able to work at regular capacity.
Gyms are still iffy, so if you’re looking for regularity in your work out, it may be best to avoid counting on public offerings. Even a brisk walk in the evening can drain the needed energy in your body to help make sleep come easier.
Check Your Diet
Eating habits tend to make sleeping habits easier to come by, especially if you tend to shovel in a lot of food at the end of the day. Though sometimes a big meal can give way to some fantastic sleep, it’s normally not part of a given schedule (i.e. a food nap), so spreading out your caloric intake throughout the day can keep the metabolism moving at a steady rate throughout the day, allowing for you to decide when it’s time to sleep, rather than hoping a big meal will knock you out.
Avoiding things like alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine will greatly increase your chances of finding yourself on a steady and healthy sleep schedule as well.
As much as “doing” during the day allows for your body to get tired, your mind will often struggle to follow suit if it remains stimulated until right before you want to hit the pillow. Evening meditation can not be preached enough as a successful way to de-stress the entire mind and body, and also allow the mind to slow down and be more stimulated by relaxation than by working and thinking. Giving yourself a solid hour to minimize your brain usage before you actually want to sleep will make it much easier to minimize the number of minutes you spend staring at the ceiling after deciding to sleep.
Be Wary of Medicines
Sometimes all the habitual changes you can muster still won’t do the trick, at which point, considering some sleep aide medication is a sensible decision. Even if you plan on using an over-the-counter remedy, it’s very important to consult a sleep specialist. Different medications will accent your habits better (or worse) than others, and each person is affected by drugs differently. Be very cautious and ask many questions before deciding to use drugs, but alas, if everything else is not working, it’s certainly worth a try, as beating stress will be essential as the world moves back to normal.