As the world shelters in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, feelings of anxiety and worry can impact sleep. Sleep can be disrupted when stressful events like illness and job losses happen. Additionally, we can’t count on the same schedule of getting up and going to work or taking the kids to school.
Further complicating matters is the fact that we aren’t getting the same external stimulation we did as we’re not going outside or seeing people as much, so experts believe the brain is reaching back into its archives of memories and producing some oddly vivid dreams being referred to as COVID dreams. People are remembering their dreams more. And, while we are trying to catch up on sleep, most of us might be hit with insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and countless other sleep disorders, thereby putting an end to our COVID dreams.
“We know that dreams are where we tend to process some of our intense emotions, often negative ones,” Dr. Mia Wise said. “We’re living through a time of angst and uncertainty and that can contribute to our dreams.”
We can’t promise to take your anxiety away or make your dreams more pleasant, but there are some proven ways to improve sleep quality.
Getting to Sleep
Dr. Wise shares some science-backed sleep hygiene guidelines for falling asleep and getting back to sleep after a 2 a.m. bout of insomnia.
Take some time to wind down at the end of the day. This means avoiding stressors and goal-oriented tasks. It may not be the time to watch the news, start an intense conversation with your spouse, or kick off a new hobby. Instead do quiet activities like reading or meditating. Additionally, you can even opt to relax by smoking up some cool weed pieces using accessories such as bongs and dab rings. The use of marijuana and CBD for a variety of illnesses have significantly increased in recent years. The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in maintaining certain body functions, including mood, appetite, sleep, and the regulation of circadian rhythms. Researchers found that CBD may benefit symptoms like insomnia. Aside from that, CBD (you can buy weed online through multiple online dispensaries) may also decrease anxiety and pain, two conditions that interfere with restful sleep. Additionally, sleep may be improved if certain symptoms are reduced.
“I like to tidy up my kitchen and wipe down my counters, and put my kitchen to bed,” Wise said of her own nightly routine.
Throughout the Day
Falling asleep can depend on what you did during the waking hours. A workout or a nice 20 to 30-minute walk each day can help with sleep quality and quantity. Stop drinking caffeine at lunch time and avoid alcohol before bed if you have trouble sleeping.
Slow a Racing Mind
“It’s really hard to tell the mind just to stop,” Wise said.
Some tricks can help such as meditation, chewing kratom leaves (also available in capsule form at Kona Kratom), journaling about worries, or writing down things you need to remember for later. She also recommends giving the mind boring tasks, like counting backward or reciting song lyrics in your head.
“Gently bring your mind back to the boring task,” Wise said.
Before you see a specialist about insomnia, Wise suggests following these easy tips.
“Be patient with yourself,” she added. “It doesn’t happen in one night. It’s a process.”
If you still see no progress, talk to your primary care provider who can help or refer you to a specialist.
Image by zoranm