Quarantine Insomnia: Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

Last week I talked about how many people are experiencing trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep specifically since the start of quarantine. We discussed a few different reasons as to why you may be experiencing this insomnia so now let’s go over what you can do about it.

Getting adequate rest each night is a crucial component of maintaining great physical and mental health. So, the next time you’re having a hard time falling or staying asleep, try a few of these tips to achieve a more peaceful night’s sleep.

  1. Reserve Your Bed for Sleeping - Sleep experts recommend that sleeping and sex should be the only activities that take place in your bed, this helps your body associate your bed with relaxation and sleep.
  2. Stay Active - The more active you are during the day the more tired you’ll be at night, leading to an easier time falling asleep and a deeper night’s rest overall.
  3. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol - Both caffeine and alcohol too late in the day can disrupt your sleep patterns and reduce the quantity and quality of your sleep.
  4. Eat Healthy - Keeping a healthy and clean diet overall can actually promote a better night’s sleep, so watch what you eat during the day in order to reap the benefit at night!
  5. Avoid Screens - Avoid staring at screens before bedtime as the blue light being emitted actually blocks the production of melatonin in your brain preventing you from relaxing.
  6. Stick to a Schedule - Sleep experts have long recommended setting a strict bedtime and wake-up time routine to help train your body when it should be awake and when it should rest.
  7. Try Relaxation Techniques - There are many relaxation techniques you can try before bed including guided meditation, breathing exercises, and soundscapes.
  8. Take a Hot Bath - Studies have shown that taking a hot bath or shower 90 minutes before bed can lead to a better night’s rest. If you don't want to take a whole bath you can still get the same benefits by soaking your feet in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Upgrade Your Pillow - Sometimes getting a better night’s sleep is as simple as just upgrading your pillow or mattress.
  10. Get Outside During the Day - Getting outside and soaking up the sunshine during the day has been shown to greatly improve your quality of sleep by helping your body differentiate daytime from nighttime based on exposure to sunlight.

Getting a good night’s rest can either make or break your day. An amazing night’s sleep can set you up for a great productive day of work while waking up tired and unrested can really start your day off on a bad note. If you’ve tried some of these tips and are still having a difficult time shutting off your brain at night to rest, please email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323 to set up a time to talk.