Are You Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

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Are you getting a good nights sleep? Since the onset of the pandemic our routines have drastically changed and that has had a profound impact on our sleep. In fact, the phenomenon is so wide spread it has been coined coronasomnia. It has been effecting people from all walks of life, all ages, sexes, races and it doesn’t matter if you’re wealthy or poor.

It’s no surprise – in one fell swoop our routines changed – drastically. While many of us still go to work in the grocery store, the hospital, the gas station etc.. many of us who worked in offices found ourselves working from home. Kids went online for school too. Suddenly we didn’t have to get the kids to school at 8am, we didn’t have to be in the office by 9am.

That translates to later bedtimes and weekends blend into work weeks.

If you aren’t getting a good night’s sleep your health is being impacted. Sleep disturbances can cause a host of problems including the following:

Weight Gain – The hormones ghrelin and leptin are thought to regulate appetite and satiety and can be put out of balance by insufficient sleep causing weight gain. If you’ve noticed you’ve put on a few extra pounds during the pandemic lack of sleep might be why.

Inflammation – Sleep is restorative and reduces the amount of cortisol in your system. Cortisol is the stress hormone that leads to inflammation, which can contribute to arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and a host of other illnesses. Getting better sleep reduces stress, which in turn reduces inflammation.

Memory – Memory consolidation occurs when we sleep. We sort out the day’s events during REM sleep – when we dream. During this time our brains are taking our experiences and making connections which lead to a better retrieval of memories.

Lack of Exercise – We’ve all hit the wall at some point during the pandemic. Most of us have let exercise routine fall away a bit. Now is the time to hit the pavement and go for a brisk walk. We all need at least 30 minutes of activity a day. You’ll sleep so much better and you might lose the Covid 19 (lbs that is).

Depression – Serotonin levels are restored when we sleep. High levels of serotonin create a sense of happiness while lower levels create a feeling of depressed mood. Getting the right amount of sleep each night regulates serotonin levels which helps stabilize moods.

Get a better night’s sleep with these simple changes to your daily routine:

  • Remove the TV from your bedroom
  • Refrain from using electronic devices an hour before going to bed
  • Read for half an hour before you go to sleep
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol later in the evening
  • Drink warm milk (Grandma was right, it really does work)
  • Exercise during the day (but not right before bedtime)
  • Make sure your mattress and pillow are comfortable and offer good support
  • Wake and sleep at the same time each day – even on weekends
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