With the year starting with a lockdown, no wonder people are having disrupted sleep. All the stress and anxiety the pandemic brings, as well as your worries in everyday life, can have an effect on your sleeping pattern. When you are feeling anxious and stressed it is difficult to fall asleep at night, and when you do finally drift off the sleep you get is not of high quality.
Studies show that the Covid-19 pandemic has had quite an impact on the nation's sleep as a result of the huge disruption to people's social and working lives, the number of Brits suffering sleep loss caused by worry has risen from one in six to one in four. The number of men experiencing poor sleep rose from 11.9% to 16.5%, and among women the number increased from 18.9% to 31.8%. Sleeplessness doubled from 19.5% to 40% amongst mothers of children aged 0 to 4 and rose almost as dramatically – from 21.7% to 38% – for those with children aged 5 to 18.
Silentnight’s sleep expert, Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan shares her top tips to destress, improve mental wellbeing, increase energy levels and set aside bedtime blues for a healthier night’s sleep in 2021:
1. Take technology breaks
Taking breaks from technology is so important, especially whilst working from home, we can often find ourselves constantly switching from our laptops to our phones. Try to make a habit of breaking away from your phone when settling down for bed as it can majorly affect your sleep. Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan says "The blue light that is emitted from the screens, suppresses melatonin, a hormone that dictates your sleep pattern. Taking regular breaks from technology, especially before bedtime, can help maintain that important sleep pattern throughout the night – especially when much of the news agenda is so unsettling.”
2. Avoid Caffeine
We know the struggle of getting out of bed in a morning, especially when working from home. Coffee may be one of the things helping you get through the workday, and while it is important that you regularly take breaks away from your computer to go pop the kettle on, drinking caffeine in the afternoon could be one of the reasons you stay awake at night. Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan's advice is “Caffeine is a stimulant that promotes alertness, which is perfect for first thing in the morning, but detrimental at night when you’re trying to drift off. Try to avoid drinking caffeinated drinks after 2pm, this will allow enough time for the caffeine to leave your system before bedtime. It also increases your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, so avoid caffeine if you’re feeling particularly stressed as this will encourage your levels to go up rather than reduce them.”
3. Eat breakfast
You will have heard it a million times, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it is true. It sets you up for the day, but it can also help you at night. Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan adds “Breakfast helps to regulate our melatonin production – the hormone we need for a good night’s rest. Make sure you pick a breakfast dish that is rich with sleep boosting foods, such as seeds, nuts, whole grains, yoghurt and fruits – bananas and oranges in particular. All of these food items contain nutrients that enhance the production of the hormone, allowing your sleep routine to benefit.”
4. Take regular breaks throughout the day
Regular breaks from working are important, as you will struggle to concentrate for long periods of time. With all the distractions of working from home, it is already difficult for us to stay focused. Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan says “Our energy levels run on 90-minute cycles, so it’s very important to take a break every 60 – 90 minutes. These breaks can simply involve leaving your desk for 5 minutes to take a walk, reading a book or making a cup of tea. Taking these little snippets of ‘me time’, especially when you’re working from home, allows you to take a breather and re-focus your mind.”
Technology that can help you sleep
All the advice we have given you so far is very useful and will help you towards getting a better nights sleep, but could you use a little more help? How about a piece of technology that you can place around your home and stick to your devices to help you to get your sleeping pattern back on track?
SleepDOT™ is the latest natural sleep aid which can help tackle sleep disturbance. It utilises frequency harmonising technology and is a natural solution which encourages our bodies to retune and rebalance by emitting a clever mix of soothing vibrations. It is placed near your head when you sleep and the invisible vibrations encourage your brain to slow to the theta and delta frequencies - the slowest frequencies of the brain, associated with relaxation, meditation and deep, dreamless sleep.
Lucy Blyth, wellness entrepreneur, EMF (electro-magnetic frequency) expert and founder of health and wellbeing brand, energyDOTs, says “With so much going on in our lives, more and more of us are experiencing electro-stress which can manifest itself in lack of motivation sluggishness and headaches. Sometimes the only way to get our energy levels back on track is to remind our body of its optimum state and this is where bioDOT can help. A natural energy booster, the bioDOT is worn on the wrist or as a pendant and releases natural frequencies to support the body’s biofield. Programmed with natural energy, the clever magnetic disc uses the process of entrainment, to release natural frequencies to that help you feel calmer, more focused and more energised.”
Sleep is so important and it is crucial that you have a good nights sleep every night. Especially through the pandemic, we need to keep ourselves in a routine of getting a full night of rest in order to keep ourselves energised and ready for the day.