If the coronavirus is dominating your daily thoughts, there is a good chance it is also keeping you up at night. Sleep may not be your top priority during this pandemic, but did you know that a well-rested body has a stronger immune response?
Don’t take our word for it. According to research sleep enhances immune defenses and insomnia can be associated with heightened risks for infections. A good night’s sleep doesn’t mean you won’t get sick. However, it does mean you’re more likely to have a stronger immune system if you do.
How can you get enough rest when you’re stressed and busy taking care of your family and your business? Here are some tips and strategies to help you move from awake to zzzzz’s.
Breathe: Breathing exercises calm the mind and body which can help you to relax and fall asleep. There are a number of breathing techniques you can try with a few universal principles including to close your eyes (to block out distractions) and to focus on the healing power of breath.
Try “Box Breathing” by inhaling for four breaths, pausing for four breaths, exhaling for four breaths and pausing again for four breaths (and repeat). You can simply set a timer for up to 5-minutes or download the app called “Box Breathing” that was developed by a Navy Seal.
Sleep Hygiene: A deeper sleep is possible by adjusting your habits and setting the stage for a restful night. According to the CDC, you should keep a consistent schedule of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (even on the weekend) to support your body’s internal clock.
They also recommend that you sleep in a dark, cool room and keep your electronics out of the bedroom.
Create a Ritual: A bed time ritual whether it’s a warm bath, a light read or a soothing meditation app will help you to wind down and prepare for a restful slumber.
Get Regular Exercise: You already know that exercise is good for your body, mind and immune system. Did you know that it can also help you to sleep better? Johns Hopkins reports that 30-minutes of moderate, aerobic activity can help you to sleep better that same night!
The type of exercise is less important than consistency. Whether you love to walk, jog, practice yoga or swing kettlebells—each will positively impact your sleep.
While sleep is definitely important—there is no need to worry about it. Worry will lead to more stress and anxiety on the body and counteract any positive change you’re trying to make. Use these tips to take the right actions and then release control of the outcome. You’ll be glad you did.