sleep habitsSleeping too little, sleeping too much, still tired at the end of the day….sound familiar to you? Irregular sleep or sleep disturbances are some of the most common reactions to disaster distress. Have your sleeping habits changed since the pandemic started? Perhaps they’ve changed multiple times. 

Sleep hygiene, also known as cleaning up your sleep habits, plays a huge role in our physical and mental health, especially amidst a pandemic. Sharon Wright, RN, from Show Me Hope shares her knowledge about sleep hygiene in this video

Many things can affect our sleep from foods, to screen time, to stress. One of the most common habits that affects sleep hygiene is screen time before bed. Many people across the country have transitioned to working from home since the pandemic began. That means hours of time spent on the computer, email, Zoom and phone. After work, many turn to TV, Netflix and social media at night to get a sense of freedom and leisure from the stress of COVID-19. Unfortunately all that screen time negatively impacts how rested we actually feel. 

Our bodies naturally produce melatonin that helps us fall asleep and stay asleep. Blue lights found in most smartphones and screens interrupt this production. That’s why experts say it’s important to turn off all devices several hours before you sleep.

Other things to help sleep hygiene include going to bed and waking up at the same time, eating no later than three hours before bedtime, taking short naps, and getting an average of eight hours of sleep per night. 

For more tips on sleep hygiene, check out this video.

If you or someone you know is experiencing stress due to the pandemic, call or text Show Me Hope for 24/7 anonymous crisis counseling. We’re here to listen. 

Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990
Tri-County Mental Health: 816-468-0400