According to Sleep School’s Insomnia Help app, 43% of the UK population say their sleep quality has deteriorated since the outbreak of Covid-19. As a result, more than one in two of us (53%) are now dissatisfied with our shut eye.
With the copious uncertainties that come with living through a global pandemic, it’s little wonder why so many of us are struggling to get to sleep. Disruptions to daily life have thrown our routines out the window and left us feeling out of whack. But with sleep such a massive part of our mental and physical wellbeing, it’s never been more important that we work on improving our rest.
If you’re suffering from sleep loss, our guide to winding down and optimising the wee hours can help you to get back on track.
Establishing some kind of day-to-night routine is essential to maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. Setting consistent times to wake up, wind-down and go to sleep each day allows your body to acclimatise to a regular sleep schedule and prevents the onset of insomnia. Filling your day with other time-specific activities can also help to stabilise your body clock and encourage sufficient shut eye. Try to avoid naps late in the day as this too can hinder your night-time sleep.
From mindfulness meditation to deep breathing and stretching, practising relaxation techniques before bed is a crucial step toward improving our sleep. Guided meditation apps like Calm and Headspace are a great place to start factoring handy relaxation strategies into your routine.
With so many of us working from the comfort of our own homes, we know it can be difficult to get out from under our duvet and down to our desks. But experts have repeatedly emphasised the importance of creating a clear distinction between where we work and where we sleep, allowing your mind to associate your bed solely with snoozing. That also means no Netflix under the covers; your bed should be a space for strictly, ehem, essential activities…
Though a good cup of coffee can be what we need to see us through the day, it’s no secret that caffeine can be detrimental to our doze. Avoid caffeinated drinks from the afternoon onwards and opt for alternatives such as herbal tea to prevent the stimulant from disrupting the quantity and quality of your sleep.
We know it’s easier said than done, but making sure you move throughout the day is essential to ensuring a good night’s sleep. Staying active plays an important part in reducing stress and getting your body ready for rest. Getting out and about, even if just for 20 minutes, also provides us with the natural light we need to correct our so-called circadian rhythm and regulate our sleep pattern.
Tempting as it is, scrolling through social media is one of the worst things you can do before bed. The blue light emitted by electronic devices increases alertness and delays the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. The often anxiety-inducing information we are fed through screens is another reason to limit their use at night, and if possible, throughout the day. Put your phone away and banish screens at least an hour before bedtime to avoid excessive scrolling and protect your body’s ability to prepare for sleep.
Adding a pillow spray into your wind-down ritual can really help to relax the mind before bed. Formulated with a powerful blend of natural oils, the Drowsy Sleep S.O.S Pillow Spray uses therapeutic aromas to trigger the brain’s olfactory sensors, quell restlessness and promote deep sleep. Using the scent as an anchor to focus your mind on, the spray diminishes mental distractions and signals to your brain that it’s time to switch off. As well as helping you to drift off quicker, the long-lasting scent enhances overall quality of kip so you can enjoy uninterrupted slumber for longer. An effective and non-addictive solution for better sleep, this award-winning deep sleep hero is the stuff of dreams (literally).