COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The change of lifestyle due to the pandemic has not only thrown off people’s normal work and school life, but has also interrupted many sleep schedules.
“We are really creatures of habit and humans thrive on schedule. People are sleeping all day, and keep their pajamas on all day, and they sit around the house and think about how they’re quarantined and they don’t get up and get moving. So the best thing you can do is maintaining a normal schedule as best as possible," said Baylor Scott and White Family Medicine Physician, Kathryn Greiner.
Even if you are sticking to a routine, it is still possible that you are restless at night and can’t fall asleep.
“Some people get restless at night because that’s when things slow down, and they lay in bed and think about things," said Greiner. "And anxiety kicks in. So one of the things you can do is don’t watch the news at bedtime, don’t check social media at bedtime. All of your screens need to be turned off an hour before bed, and everything you do, about after 6 pm should be something that brings you some peace and calms you down."
Sleeping at different times and for differing amounts may confuse your body.
“The normal circadian rhythm is that your body wants to go to bed when it’s dark and then wake up when it’s light," said Greiner. "So maybe you’ll be pooped out tired enough and fall asleep at 2 am but then your sleep cycle gets messed up and it’s hard to get rightful sleep when it’s bright and sunlight outside."
Adding physical activity into your daily routine will also wear out the body and can help you sleep better.
Dr. Greiner added that you know you're getting enough sleep when you wake up 15 minutes before your alarm clock goes off and that it's really important to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.