GRAND RAPIDS — A lot has changed in our lives right now, and that even might include your sleep. You're not alone if you've been feeling like it's harder to get a good night's rest right now.
Maybe you get in bed and your mind starts racing, or you toss and turn all night. Nick Bolhuis, vice president of clinical services at Neuropeak Pro says he's not surprised to hear people are struggling in the sleep department.
He says that most people are psychologically impacted even if you're not medically impacted by COVID-19. Our whole lives have been turned upside down, and your sleep cycle is one of the first things that is impacted by the changes in stress.
"It's called a sleep cycle or circadian rhythm, we have a rhythm or cycle and it is completely off," Bolhuis explained. "A lot of folks at least initially were treating this like a snow day: staying up late; binge watching some shows; and sleeping in. But there are different chemicals that are released in the morning to help you wake up, and there chemicals that are released later in the day. So, when you start to shift your body clock an hour or two or three hours, that is enough right there to do it."
"And then add in the fact that my normal routine throughout the day is completely changed, it can cause some haywire really quick. It's not just one thing. We like to think that, what can I do at 10 or 10:30 p.m. to fall asleep? Well, no, your sleep starts when you wake up in the morning. It's all the things you’re doing through out the day."
So what can you do?
1) Get on a regular routine, go to bed and wake up roughly at the same time.
2) Be mindful of your nutrition, especially right now when all we want to do is stress eat comfort food.
3) Get active in some way, just get moving
4) Drop caffeine. Right now a lot of people don't have to rush out the door right now, so if you can get through the first couple weeks you can avoid that crash later in the day when you need more caffeine
5) A lot of us are feeling more stress and anxiety right now. Make sure you talk it through with someone, don't keep it in
Neuropeak Pro is offering counseling and resources virtually right now. For more information click here.