How Sleeping Habits Have Changed as a Result of the Pandemic

This week is Sleep Awareness Week. Learn how the COVID-19 Pandemic has affected sleeping habits over the past year.

Posted: Mar 17, 2021 7:50 PM

Terre Haute, Ind. (WTHI) - Nationwide people are celebrating sleep health. That is because this week is Sleep Awareness Week. The National Sleep Foundation has an annual awareness campaign educating the public about the importance of quality sleep. This year’s theme is “Celebrate Sleep Health.”

The need for healthy sleeping habits continues to be essential. However, the pandemic forces many of us to dramatically adapt and adjust our sleeping habits.

“Sleep is part of our routine and our routine has been disrupted,” Julia Bailey, Clinical Manager of Outpatient Behavioral Services at Centerstone Behavioral Health said.

This is a trend experts are seeing nationwide. Our bodies rely on what is called a circadian rhythm. According to the national sleep foundation, this is our body’s process of regulating sleep and wake cycles. This past year, these rhythms became inconsistent and out of sync. Local experts believe this may cause many problems in our day-to-day lives.

“Not getting good quality sleep can affect our physical health and our mental health,” Bailey said. “It can affect our relationships because we can get moody and irritable. We are not able to be as productive in our work and we do not have as much energy.”

Experts say eight hours of sleep each night is ideal for adults, but it really depends on the person. To develop healthy sleeping habits, it is important to develop a consistent routine.

“A sleep schedule and routine is important because it gives our system some structure to work within so we are able to function better because we are staying within that rhythm,” Bailey said.

It is also important to have a healthy night-time routine. This means no caffeine, nicotine, or sugar right before bed. Additionally, you should turn And off any screens at least an hour before going to sleep. Finally, if you can’t sleep, there are other things you can focus on.

“If you can't sleep, at least lay there and relax,” Bailey said. “Let your mind be at ease. Close your eyes, relax your body, do some meditation, so at least you are getting a level of relaxation and rest for your body. Even if we don’t fall completely asleep, that is better than nothing.”

Continuing to maintain healthy sleeping habits is important for your overall health and well-being.

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