I don’t know about you, but at the start of the UK lockdown I had visions of lie-ins, breakfast in bed, and some real ‘me time’. But whether it is health anxiety or simply my mind not being stimulated, I’ve actually found myself sleeping less and waking throughout the night.
So, a few weeks in, I found myself researching home remedies for good sleep and asking my colleagues here at Happy Beds for their top sleep tips for coping during lockdown. Here’s what I learnt…
1. Keep Calm
It’s easier said than done, but getting on top of emotions and doing our best to stay calm can really help us to relax and drift off to sleep quicker.
So, I’ve been stringently following government guidelines to give me peace of mind that my family and I are protected, and started trying mindfulness. Taking a few moments to myself is really helping decompress and forget about the chaos around us. And, I’m sure it could help you too!
Read more: Does Meditation Help You Sleep?
2. Have Some Fun!
In line with staying calm, I think it’s important we try to make the most of this unusual situation and enjoy spending the time with our families if we can.
We’ve had plenty of fun with the kids over the last few weeks, playing in the garden, painting rainbows for our windows, and baking cakes. Not only are we getting great quality time, but it’s tiring them out so they sleep better at bedtime.
3. Get Some Fresh Air
With time spent outdoors a luxury at the moment, I would recommend making the most of the outside space around you – whilst abiding by social distancing rules, of course.
Whether it’s a walk through the woods, pottering around the garden, or a stroll to pick up some essential items, the fresh air and sunlight will help regulate your body clock and minimise disruption to your circadian rhythm.
4. Take Some Exercise
The gyms are closed, so we’re all having to get a little more inventive with ways to keep fit. I’ve done bike rides with the family, ran PE lessons whilst home-schooling the kids, and I’m loving all the Joe Wicks video workouts. And, it turns out, exercise can help improve sleep. So, let’s get physical!
5. Don’t Binge Eat…
I am pretty ashamed to say, this is probably the longest I have gone in my adult life without any fast food, but I’m feeling so much better for it. Even if I do miss a sausage and egg McMuffin and find myself snacking more than usual!
With supermarket queues long and restaurants closed, it is tempting to order takeaways multiples times a week. But high doses of fatty and sugary foods could be the reason behind any sleep problems during the coronavirus lockdown.
6. …Or Drink Alcohol Excessively
I recently spent some time researching alcohol and the effect it can have on sleep (read my write-up: Alcohol and Sleep Deprivation: How Staying Sober Can Help Your Slumber), as I found it interesting how many people believe a drink, or five, will help them sleep better at night.
Spoiler alert: it won’t.
And, with many people turning to the bottle to pass the time or soothe anxious feelings during the COVID-19 lockdown, I found the research really fascinating.
Now, we’re not suggesting going teetotal if you’re fond of a bevvy, but I’m sure you’ll end up cutting back and sleeping better once you’ve given this research a once over.
7. Listen to Music
What would the theme tune for your lockdown experience be? I think mine would be ‘Banana Pancakes’ by Jack Johnson, because ‘there ain’t no need to go outside’, I’m ‘wakin’ up too early’, it’s raining outside and, as I mentioned earlier, I’m doing a lot of cooking in lockdown. Banana bread anyone?
But, I digress, music can help in relaxing you and therefore preparing your body for sleep. So, why not try a sleep sounds app or a calming music playlist as you snuggle up?
8. Read Some Blogs
Now, I know I’ve already introduced a splattering of links throughout this post pointing to further reading, but if you’d like to learn more about sleep, and find yourself with some time on your hands, I really would recommend reading around the topic and exploring The Comfort Zone.
We’ve got posts on everything from sleep science to interior design, and I believe the more you know about the sleep, the easier it will be to rest better.
9. Do A Little Redecorating
Personally, spending so much time at home recently has made me notice all the little jobs we need to do and has got me wanting to redecorate.
I’m lucky enough that I had a few spare pots of paint in our garage, and have been able to order a few things online, but there’s no need to spend big bucks if you fancy a change. Simply rearranging your furniture can dramatically transform a space.
Check out the latest design trends in our post ‘The 2020 Interior Design Trends to Look Out For’ and remember to keep soothing colours and soft fabrics in mind if you want to improve your sleep environment!
10. Invest in a New Mattress
Last, but not least, if you’re struggling to sleep during lockdown, it may simply be because your mattress is no longer comfortable or supportive.
Here at Happy Beds, we’ve worked tirelessly to stay open and have introduced social distancing guidelines to ensure our staff and customers stay safe. So, you can still upgrade your bed, even during a pandemic!
I’d personally recommend a memory foam mattress – they’re oh so soft and mould to the shape of your body, whilst still providing the support you need – but you can browse our full mattress range here.