The 3 A.M. and I Can’t Sleep Blues

The fifth entry in our series of topics about coping with our lives right now is the one that, as a life long horrible sleeper, I need the most help. As soon as Robert Oliva sent in his response to this question, I tried it out and experienced several nights where I wasn’t counting the husband’s snores nor the dog’s dream barks.

Help! I’m having trouble falling asleep! Any tips?

Quality sleep removes brain toxins, solidifies learning, decreases appetite, enhances mood, and reduces chronic disease.

In other words, sleep is essential for good health.

Reasons you may be having trouble sleeping during the pandemic:

· Being anxious and discombobulated.
· Losing your regular schedule.
· Socially isolated and depressed.
· Too much screen time late at night.
· Family disruptions.

Here are some tips for getting quality sleep:

· Keep a strict schedule of waking up and getting to bed.
· Reduce alcohol and caffeine.
· Reserve your bed for sleep.
· Don’t stay in bed tossing and turning.
· Practice meditation, relaxation, and breathing exercises before bed.
· Eat relaxation inducing foods.
· Go easy on daytime napping.
· Get outdoor sunlight to balance your circadian rhythms.
· Exercise regularly.

And be sure to check out the other questions in this series:

Meditation is one of the best ways to achieve some balance while going through difficult times. But it can be hard to know how to begin. Do you have any advice for how to start a practice?

I have a pretty good diet but now I seem to be loading up on more carbs and sugars. Why?

Are there ways I can manage to converse with friends or family who voice contrary opinions?

What’s the most important thing I can do to help kids manage their stress level?

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