Struggling to sleep during the pandemic? Here's some advice

Why are we struggling to sleep now during the pandemic? 

Let's start with one potential problem: too much screen time. We're spending a lot of time looking at a screen and that might be stimulating your brain, which confuses your body clock. 

Screen time, a lack of schedule, perhaps a lack of outside natural light and a lot of stress and isolation add up to a rough night's rest. And maybe even worrying about your sleep factors in, too. 

Sleep is really important right now. According to The Sleep Foundation, it empowers your immune system, heightens brain function and helps our minds work better, making for better learning and decision making. Plus it's good for your mood and mental health. 

So how can you get better rest right now? 

Spend time in natural light. Even if it's not bright sunshine the natural light helps our body's circadian rhythm, which tells the body when it's supposed to be awake and when it's supposed to be asleep.  

Also, stick to a schedule. That means wake up, get dressed, brush your teeth and shower even if you're not leaving the house. In other words, don't let the hours of the day all run together. 

You want to eat meals on a schedule and block off time for work and exercise. Give your body cues. And at night, relax into a pre-bedtime routine. 

And another tip - when you wake up in the middle of the night don't reach for the phone. Try to avoid light and use deep breathing to keep your mind and body relaxed. 

Remember, you're aiming for about 7 hours of sleep a night.