If you’re struggling with disrupted sleep due to anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic, you’re not alone.
According to a Winnipeg sleep consultant, it would be more surprising if people weren’t experiencing sleep problems during this crisis.
“It’s a really unusual situation that we’re in and it’s really highly stress-provoking,” the University of Manitoba’s Diana McMillan told 680 CJOB.
“It’s actually normal that we would have some reactions to this… Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your whole routine is probably quite disrupted.”
McMillan said that while anxiety about the state of the world is likely causing lighter, poorer or more disturbed sleep, the key is that people are more anxious as they fall asleep.
“We tend to carry the worries and stresses of our day into our nighttime sleep, and that’s probably the largest factor for why people are having some vivid dreams,” she said.
“It actually starts at the very beginning of your day. If you’re able to have and keep to a routine — and I know this is a very strange time, so our routines are typically a bit off — getting up, getting some exposure to sunlight helps.
“Having breakfast, getting a bit of exercise… getting dressed. Trying to set a small goal so you have a little bit of normalcy or normal routine in your day.”
Limiting caffeine intake and trying to “gear down” before going to sleep are also good tactics.
“Gear down so that you’re not watching the 11:00 news and then immediately going to bed,” she said. “That is going to probably be very anxiety-provoking.
“Try to have about 45 minutes to an hour before your bedtime when you’re doing something that is enjoyable, relaxing and calming, so it’s not going to add to those feelings of anxiety.”