How to sleep during lockdown

Are you having trouble with your sleep routine at the moment? It’s been a surprisingly common anecdote reported during the covid-19 lockdown. While a lack of sleep might seem the least of our problems at the moment, it does have serious effects for our wellbeing.

Not only does a lack of sleep make us feel lousy the following day, it’s actually been linked to a number of health conditions. Chronic sleep deprivation is associated with increased oxidative stress. This can lead to hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes. In addition, sleep deprivation can affect our hunger hormones, lowering our appetite suppressor, leptin, and increasing our hunger hormone, ghrelin. No good for our waistlines!

A lack of sleep is also associated with reduced cognitive performance, higher levels of anxiety and higher levels of depression. During these anxious times, it’s vital that we get a decent night’s shut eye to help us cope with what is going on around us. Here, we team up with NHS doctor, Dr Christie Lewis, who shares her top tips for maintaining a good sleep pattern during lockdown.

Stick to a sleep routine

It can be tempting to have a late-night scroll on social media, but this can play havoc with our sleep routine. Give yourself boundaries when it comes to waking up and going to bed. Set the alarm for the same time each morning and go to bed at a similar time each night. The body clock likes consistency and, once you get into the habit, this will help you sleep.

Keep your body active

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While we may only currently be allowed outside once a day for exercise, there are a number of amazing home workouts online for you to keep physically active while in lockdown. Whether you prefer exercises like Pilates and yoga, or something a little more cardio-based, there is something for everyone. Liz’s e-book, A Stronger, Slimmer You is full of ideas to get you started.

Ensure you’re also taking regular breaks from sitting to keep your body moving. Keeping physically active will help to maintain a healthy mind and body.

Have a relaxing bed time routine

Too much stimulation from the news or electronics aren’t the most relaxing things to do before bedtime. Instead, enjoy activities that help you relax and prepare your body for sleep.

Enjoy a long soak in a warm bath, read a book, practice restorative yoga or listen to some calming music. Anything that calms your nervous system will help to relax your body and mind in preparation for sleep.  

Quieten anxious thoughts

It’s normal to feel as though your thoughts are running away from you during these anxious times. Practising mindfulness and focussing on your breathing can be effective ways to soothe anxious thoughts and feelings.

Much of our anxiety at the moment stems from a lack of control. It can be worth, during the day, to have a steady routine and focus on the parts of life that you can control. This may be your professional career, your exercise routine, helping the kids with their school work, or getting the house spick and span.

Essential oils, soothing scents and natural supplements can also help us feel a sense of calm before bedtime. Spritzing your pillow with a lavender scented spray can help to induce relaxation, while a natural supplement can also help to ease an overactive mind. Liz is a fan of Life Armour’s Drops of Slumber. This liquid tincture contains herbal ingredients known to help calm an overactive mind and ease us in to a deeper sleep – and can be taken before bed or if you wake up during the night. Enjoy an exclusive 15% discount on Life Armour products by entering the LIZLOVES at checkout.

Practice gratitude

Gratitude practice is an amazing way to feel positive before bed. Tell yourself three things that you’re grateful for today before going to sleep. It might even help to journal these ideas down. However small, there will always be something that you are grateful for – even if it’s just a perfectly brewed cup of tea.  

Keep your bedroom tidy

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Your bedroom should be your sanctuary so keep it free of clutter and as calming an environment as possible. Try not to work in your bedroom if you can. It will affect your sleep if you associate your bedroom with stress and anxiety, so keep it strictly for sleeping instead.  

Get some peace

Try to reduce noise and light in your bedroom where possible, If necessary wear ear plugs and an eye mask. If reading, use a relaxing bedside light and nothing too bright that may stimulate your brain and affect your sleep.

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