How to get better sleep during COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: May. 19, 2020 at 7:39 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - If you have noticed your sleep suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone.

A good night’s sleep is vital to your health and a sleep specialist shared some tips with WAFB’s Elizabeth Vowell on how you can get your sleep back on track.

Dr. Shantan Ravula is a sleep medicine specialist and family medicine specialist with Our Lady of the Lake.

He says sleep is very important for your physical well being and the novel coronavirus has brought some unprecedented change in our lives.

“Economies have been affected, some nations have been on lockdown. We have been sheltered in place for about two months and it’s only normal for people to feel anxious about their health and their loved ones’ health. While we’ve tried to adjust to all of these changes in such a short period of time it’s only understandable that the quality and importance of good sleep might have flown under the radar for some that definitely might have had an effect on sleep,” Ravula explains.

He says having a good night’s sleep actually helps in your daytime functioning. It helps improve your mood, decrease anxiousness, and helps to decrease depression.

When asked about how some people’s sleep schedules will change yet again since some people are starting to go back to work, Ravula says there plenty of things you can do during the day to improve your sleep at night.

He recommends a moderate amount of exercise during the day and avoiding caffeinated beverages during the afternoon and evening.

“Getting a good amount of sunlight exposure in the daytime. All of these will set the tone for good quality of sleep at night. So in addition to this, things like having a set sleep schedule going to sleep at the same time getting up at the same time you should have 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep time,” Ravula says.

He says once you do have a set schedule, try to avoid TV, cell phones, and computers around bedtime.

If you are a reader he recommends trying to read something that is boring instead of exciting.

“Don’t solve puzzles don’t do any mind-stimulating activities before you go to sleep. You don’t want to rev up your brain at that time. Your brain needs some downtime. So establishing a relaxing routine is great. Some people like to have a warm shower before bedtime listening to some songs or music these are all great habits,” Ravula says.

Ravula recommends you keep your bedroom dark and quiet. He also says don’t use the light from a television light as a source of a nightlight.

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