These are unprecedented times. Given the real and tangible threat of the coronavirus pandemic on personal, community, and societal levels, it is normal to experience anxiety and sleep problems. Sleep is a reversible state marked by a loss of consciousness to our surroundings, and as members of the animal kingdom, our brains have evolved to respond to dangers by increasing vigilance and attention — in other words, our brains are protecting us, and by doing so it’s harder for us to ignore our surroundings.

Despite the threat of the coronavirus and its rapid and pervasive disruption to our daily lives, many of us are an in a position to control our behaviors and dampen the impact of the emerging pandemic on our sleep. Cultivating healthy sleep is important; better sleep enables us to navigate stressful times better in the short term, lowers our chance of developing persistent sleep problems in the longer term, and gives our immune system a boost.

Daytime tips to help with sleep

Nighttime tips to help with sleep

Remember, don’t stress out about sleep

Disrupted sleep is a normal response to stress, and it is okay to have a few nights of poor sleep as you adjust to new routines and big changes to your work and personal life. But with some simple measures, you can preserve your sleep and improve your well-being during these uncertain times. We can’t control what’s happening in the world right now, but we can control our behaviors and dampen the impact of the emerging pandemic on our sleep.

We all need the right amount of sleep to keep us feeling active and alert the next day. Sleep is also vitally important for continued good health. The amount of sleep we need varies from just a few hours to as much as twelve hours. 

Self help

By practising the following tips, you could soon be putting your sleep problems behind you. 

If the above strategies fail to bring the desired result, you might consider trying a natural herbal sleep-aid product.

Sleep aid products

A range of natural and safe sleep-aid products are available for sale to the general public.  Examples include: Kalms Tablets, Natrasleep, Nodoff Passiflora Tablets, Nytol Herbal, Slumber Tablets and Somnus. These are available from health food shops and pharmacies. 

Products containing antihistamines such as promethazine or diphenhydramine cause drowsiness and induce sleep. These products are available from pharmacies and may help in the short-term management of temporary insomnia in those cases where simple self-help measures have not proved entirely successful. 

If you continue to experience sleep problems, your doctor might offer you some short-term medication or refer you to a sleep specialist at a nearby sleep laboratory in order to better understand and treat the cause of your particular sleep problem. 

Debs Brookes Roots of Life
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