Is it possible to sleep soundly with a case of COVID-19? It’s not always easy, but here are our top tips for an excellent, restful night.
What causes bad sleep with COVID-19? Breathing difficulties are one obvious concern—stress, anxiety, and social isolation may also contribute to an uneasy night.
Just like with any other illness, sleep is vital to your recovery. Here’s how you can improve sleep with COVID-19 and get back on your feet fast.
1. Adjust Your Sleeping Position
Have you ever had a head cold? If respiratory distress is the culprit robbing you of a restful night, we recommend sleeping in the prone position—that is, sleeping while lying flat on your belly.
Why does “proning” help with COVID-19? Some experts believe it may improve breathing and oxygenation, allowing a victim to saturate the lungs more thoroughly with each breath.
Patients with spinal injuries, ventilators, and other obstructions may not be able to reap the benefits. In mild COVID cases, however, the impact appears to be positive in a general sense.
2. Get Some Sunlight
Melatonin, also known as the “sleep” hormone, is an integral part of our body’s circadian rhythm and the sleep pattern that results.
Our bodies have evolved to secrete melatonin during times when the sun isn’t out and shining. This relaxing, soothing hormone lulls our body to sleep at exactly the right time.
It’s crazy, but a lack of sun exposure can confuse the body and cause a disruption in the melatonin-serotonin axis. If you’re having trouble finding a calm state of mind at bedtime, a Saturday out in the sun might be the hormonal reset your body needs. Trust us. It really works.
3. Avoid Napping During The Day
Sleeping during the day might actually be the reason you have trouble falling asleep at night, especially if you nap at different times each day.
Napping is awesome in many regards. If you’re struggling to sleep at night, however, abstaining in the short term might be your best bet.
In this vein, it might also be helpful to avoid caffeine throughout the day—try a 48-hour detox and see where you stand. Subbing in herbal, non-caffeinated tea is one way to fight the urge—eating a small snack might also net you a bit of energy if you’re fading.
4. Stick To A Routine
This solution may sound silly, but it’s true: a regular sleep routine can help you fall asleep faster and to sleep more soundly once you nod off.
Adhering to a regular “bedtime” and doing what you can to wake up at the same time every morning trains your body. When it knows what to expect, it supports your effort biologically. Soon, it’ll feel like you’ve been doing it your entire life.
Diet, exercise, and other rituals can aid you if you struggle to fall asleep before midnight. A healthy meal, a bit of physical activity, a hot bath at the end of the day, and a good book are all your biggest allies in this regard. Anything that relaxes you at night will be the perfect solution.
How To Improve Sleep With COVID-19
Sleep is nature’s medicine for just about everything. The better you’re able to sleep each night, the faster you’re likely to recover quickly.
If you’ve tried it all and still struggle to sleep at night, we recommend asking your doctor for more advice. Chemical sleep aids aren’t ideal, but, while you’re still recovering, might still be able to get you over the hump.