As I work with people who are having difficult sleep and are suffering from insomnia, there are three big issues that I see repeatedly while we are living through these unprecedented times. We are all experiencing changes during these times, we are working at home, we have more access to news from multiple sources, and we are spending time with a small group of people and not with the work community. All these have changed how we structure our day.
Sunlight exposure helps to set our circadian rhythm, our internal clock, and now we are not only not commuting but we are literally rolling out of bed and going to work. Our body and mind need to separate our work and personal time. Our body also needs that morning sun. It will help if you set up your morning to have 20 minutes outside at the beginning of the day. You can take a walk, or sit outside and have your breakfast or coffee, or sit outside and meditate. The choice is yours, but the goal is to enjoy that time and get the light you need before you jump into work.
The end of the day is no longer happening. It used to be that the day would end, and you would drive home and be with your family. This has changed because people feel that since work and home are in the same place, they should be accessible to their job. They do not separate the time to unwind and decompress. If you want to sleep well, you should decide on an end time for your work. You should also create a strong sleep routine at least 20 minutes before you get into bed.
People are getting input about the news all the time. Whether it is about COVID, the election, the economy, or work there is no way to get away from all this input. This does not allow you to relax and focus on the positive and to relax. You need this time. Since most people no longer commute, they need to intentionally set time to unplug and focus on things like family and what you enjoy. You might want to listen to an audiobook, or music or just take time to read a good book. Journaling for 5-10 minutes may also help with allowing you to unwind.
In these times where change is the only constant, it is important to learn separation between work and personal time and how to unplug from your electronics and the news. You need time to get fresh air, to appreciate the good around you and your family and friends.
If you need help with your sleep work with one of our sleep coaches to find solutions to what is keeping you up at night.