The importance and usefulness can never be overemphasized. That is because, for us, sleep is the natural stress-coping mechanism. Good night sleep and day time rests are means of rebounding into a state of health from the many stressors in our immediate environment. Right now, there is no greater stressor than the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated effects.
From concerns about powerlessness in the face of a ravaging disaster to worries about insecurity, increase in crime, and extensive state of unemployment, we can forget to take a break. Although an initial reaction of anxiety is expected, continued and excessive anxiousness spells doom for the general state of health. Therefore, there is a need to leave the cycle of stressors for some time and have a good sleep. Having a douse of good sleep is a perfect way to improve mental health and boost the immune system. Moreover, it gives room for a clearer head.
ROLE OF SLEEP
Sleep is a verified immune booster. Having a good sleep leaves the body rejuvenated. The body undergoes major repairs while we sleep. Hence, getting enough sleep improves our ability to fight infectious diseases. It also improves the outcomes in the fight against disease-causing organisms, including the coronavirus.
Sufficient sleep plays a vital role in creating a balance in our hormones. Insufficient sleep or sleep-deprivation can result in a hormonal imbalance. Dopamine, also known as the “feel-good hormone,” is released by the brain to give the body a good feeling. With lack of sleep, dopamine secretion becomes affected, resulting in moodiness and for extreme cases, physical ill-health. In this instance, it becomes difficult to effectively function. Thus, effective sleep contributes to enhanced mental state, brain functionality, and daytime efficiency. In this period when anxiety results from combating the virus, high rate of unemployment, economic melt-down, and general life-altering changes, having a good night sleep may be a leeway.
Sleep is a fundamental biological process, but it is even more important in the face of the pandemic because of its physical and mental health advantages. Robust nighttime rest reinforces body defense, and research has demonstrated that sleep deficiencies can reduce the effectiveness of several vaccines. Higher cognitive skills, attention control, and enhanced concentration are further benefits of adequate sleep. During this period, good sleep helps kids and adults to maintain focus, adjust to school and work while staying at home.
TIPS FOR GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP DURING THIS PANDEMIC
- Set a plan and regimen: If there is anything the pandemic has done; it is changing our lifestyle from the way we used to know it. Major changes such as this can affect sleep. Having a routine can help in promoting a sense of normalcy even during this pandemic and helps in adjusting to the new way of doing things.
- Watch your nap meter: You could be compelled to take more naps if you stay home throughout the day. While naps are excellent ways to take a break and get the body ready again, lengthy naps, especially those who could prevent you from sleeping at night, should be avoided.
- You are what you eat: maintaining a healthy diet can enhance excellent sleep. Foods such as caffeine and alcohol are known to have detrimental effects on the amount and efficiency of sleep.