Can’t sleep since COVID19? Sleep Expert Olivia Arezzolo shares why – and what to do.

Written by Sleep Expert Olivia Arezzolo. Olivia is a Sleep Expert (Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology); Certificate of Sleep Psychology, Diploma of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine); Certificate of Fitness III + IV). Featured on The Today Show, regularly interviewed for Daily Mail and former partnerships with global brands Sealy Posturepedic and Ikea, Olivia provides straightforward yet science-based strategies to improve sleep.

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If you’ve had more problems falling and staying asleep since COVID19 hit, this article is for you.

With extra adrenalin ruminating through your body, know that you are biologically programmed to remain alert and awake – which is the key reason you’re constantly feeling wired. 

Second, increased reliance on tech devices for our meetings and social catch-ups means that your exposure to blue light is worse than ever – compromising your ability to produce the sleepiness hormone melatonin. 

These factors combined, unless mediated, will leave you sleepless – though, if you’re reading this, you’re probably aware of that. 

Fortunately, there are a few steps to sleep properly again – and as a sleep expert, it’s a pleasure to share exactly what they are.

Step 1: Create a sleep sanctuary

Often overlooked, your bedding is fundamental to your best night’s sleep.

First, opt for 100% organic: bleaching agents and toxins such as formaldehyde can contribute to skin irritation – leaving you tossing and turning through the night.

Further, a high quality 200-400 thread count is ideal: while still feeling luxe, this density minimizes overheating – which can otherwise wreak havoc on your sleep. Studies show melatonin, the sleepiness hormone, decreases when you are too hot, often leaving you waking in a sweaty mess.

Finally, seek sateen over silk or cotton: it’s softer on the skin compared to cotton, plus more durable and economical than silk. 

Personally, I sleep on – and love – White Terry Home. The 400 thread count sateen sheets look and feel luxe, are eco friendly, and importantly – respect the principles above. 

Step 2: Unwind with magnesium, rather than meditation.

To switch off easier, bypass psychological tools like meditation (at least, while COVID19 anxiety is high) in favor of physiological ones – like magnesium. 

With clinical trials showing it helps reduce anxiety by 31%, magnesium is my go-to when it comes to switching off easier. Further, by massaging it into your skin you’ll also enjoy relaxation from the massage itself. 

I’m currently enjoying The Base Collective’s Beauty Sleep Spray – an all-natural yet densely concentrated magnesium spray – it has over 40mg per ml of elemental magnesium, which is huge. Further, it also offers the anti-anxiety benefits of lavender and chamomile too.

Remember – unwinding doesn’t have to be hard, but you do need the right tools by your side.

Step 3: Block out blue light

I know you’ve probably heard of it a million times before – but blue light is a problem – especially with a greater reliance on technology such as Zoom.

Akin to overheating (see above), blue light compromises melatonin and can leave you wide awake in the evening, when typically, you should be sleeping. 

For this reason, if you haven’t already, wear a pair of 100% blue light glasses at least 2 hours before bed.

1-2-3: do this consistently and you’ll notice your sleep improve. 

Lastly, with respect to the recent BLM movement, I want to communicate that this article is for all races, all individuals, and all beings – those colored and non-colored, experiencing systemic racism or not, suffering cultural injustices or not. 

I truly believe we are the same humans simply in different bodies, and all wish to live better, feel better and of course – sleep better. So for that, I am happy to share this advice with each person reading this – no matter who you are or what color your skin.

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