Your Therapy

Sleep Tight

Getting Rest Amidst a Pandemic


sleep disorderMost of us can agree that there’s nothing more refreshing than a good night’s sleep. While we’re all doing our part to stay safe and make the most of an unexpected situation, it might be more challenging than usual to get those precious hours of rest. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, a partner’s loud snores or the cliff hanger from a great show on Netflix might occasionally keep those eyes wide open, but right now, we’re all feeling the strain a little more than usual. It’s important to know that you’re not alone – we’re all going through this together. I’m here to offer some insight into why we may be missing out on quality sleep, and to give you some tips to help you navigate these rough new waters for the next little while.

Why We Might Be Feeling Sleepless

There are many factors that might affect our sleeping patterns, like working from home, changed routines, and work hours that extend into the evening. For teenagers, there’s also the loss of missing important milestones in their life, like graduation, prom, or final performances and competitions. These can be discomforting and tough to acknowledge. However, we are not alone. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Canadians are twice as likely to experience consistent stress since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes can be difficult to adjust to, but there’s comfort in knowing that we’re all going through the same motions in our own ways.

So how does all this change affect your sleep? These changes may trigger some stress, affecting your mood and your sleep patterns. During the day, it’s easy to keep your mind occupied with work and responsibilities. However, as you wind down in the evenings, your emotions have more room to surface. Unlike physical tiredness, which enables you to rest, emotional fatigue can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Even simple tasks, like grocery shopping may feel a little more cumbersome than usual.

Tips to Getting Better Sleep

Feeling stressed during a global pandemic is normal, but you can find comfort in a few tips that will help you achieve a good night’s sleep:

  • Disconnect from your screens and technology, at least an hour before going to bed. In this digital era, we are always ‘plugged in’, so taking your mind away from a screen might help you unplug.
  • Try to read a book (a paper one, not an e-Book) or practice simple meditation to help relax your mind.
  • Create a routine by waking up and going to bed at the same time. Your body will gravitate towards it and help restore some normalcy.
  • Include physical activity in your day. Moving during the day will help make you physically tired and relieve some of your stress.
  • Creating a consistent bedtime routine can help prepare you for sleep (shower or some chamomile tea in the evening)
  • If you can’t sleep, don’t stay in bed, get up do something for 20-30 minutes (like having a cup of tea or reading or go to the living room) try to reset your sleep system
  • Follow good sleep hygiene by creating a comfortable environment to rest. Try to maintain it for sleep only and avoid working or watching TV in bed

It’s important to know that you have support available to you! You don’t have to navigate this time alone. Along with the numerous free resources out there, you can also speak to your doctor about treatment through supplements such as melatonin or consult a therapist about a plan to cope with these changes. YourTherapy offers virtual one-on-one sessions with a professional therapist, who can work with you to develop a customizable plan.

Your sleep is important for your health and wellbeing. Remember, this pandemic is temporary, and you have options to help you cope and get through this difficult time. With care and attention, you can find calm through this storm and achieve some earned rest.

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to reach out with questions about this or other mental health issues.

We Currently have Openings for Virtual Appointments: Connect with our dedicated therapists from the comfort of your own space. Day-Time In-Person Therapy: Join us during business hours for face-to-face sessions. Book your complimentary intake appointment.