Unless you’ve been living off the grid for the past few months, you’ve probably been subjected to some form of mandatory quarantine in your home. From a full shutdown of the economy to new social distancing laws, our entire world has been flipped upside down over the past few months. If you are one of the millions of Americans that already had trouble getting the recommended amount of sleep needed prior to Covid-19 taking over our lives, chances are your sleeping habits have gotten worse in light of the global pandemic that we currently face. While these might not seem that mind-blowing, we thought it would be valuable to remind ourselves of some simple things you can do to get a better night of quarantine sleep during the pandemic.
1. No screens prior to bedtime – especially the news!
At least 45 minutes before bed and if you’re going to watch something, try and find a light comedy to make you laugh and disconnect from the 24/7 Covid-19 news cycle. Parks and Rec anyone? Just the thought of Leslie Knopp and Ron Swanson in coming to rescue us in these crazy times makes me smile and lowers my blood pressure.
In all seriousness though, screens stimulate your brain which makes it hard to wind down and get ready to sleep. Also, the blue light emitted from your screen will suppress your natural production of melatonin, a key hormone the body creates to help us sleep.
2. Avoid heavy meals right before going to bed
That’s not to say you shouldn’t eat a heavy meal for dinner, but try to do it at least two hours before going to bed. If your body is working hard to digest a big meal, chances are it’s not going to be ready to sleep anytime soon. It’s also important to focus on a healthy diet during these times. Your body will process clean and healthy foods much better than junk food. You will stay full longer with clean food which in turn, could help you sleep longer.
3. Get into a routine
At the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, all your regular schedules and routines were probably thrown out the window. You became a homeschool teacher overnight, started working remotely, or were laid off from your job all with no real warning or fault of your own. This through a serious wrench in your life that you were not prepared for. However, as you’ve got into your groove with all the changes, it’s important to try and stay within a routine that will allow you to get the rest you need each night. Set a time that you will wake up to and go to bed every night, including the weekends. I mean let’s be honest at this point, is the weekend even a real weekend during quarantine life?
4. Dim your lights or get smart lights for your general space you hang out in prior to bed.
While smart lights might not be in everyone’s budget right now, there are other steps you can take to avoid damaging your night’s sleep to light pollution inside your home.Similar to most life forms in nature, humans adhere to a circadian rhythm, a biological clock that controls our sleep-wake cycle. This is patterned off the day/night cycle that can be interrupted if you subject yourself to too much artificial light in the evening when you’re trying to wind down and go to sleep. Most smart lights now have a “night mode” that alters the color of the light to mitigate the impact of the light on your circadian rhythm. Dimmers can work as well or if you’re wanting to mix it up a bit, try lighting some candles instead of using your lights if you need light in the room you’re in.
5. Do a brief breathing exercise or light yoga in the evening after dinner
It’s important to find ways to relax and unwind from your day. Yoga and/or breathing exercises can be a powerful tool to help you achieve relaxation and more importantly, improve your sleep. There are mediation apps out there with free trials like Headspace or Calm that allow you to try out the exercises before you commit to purchasing anything. As well, with most Yoga studios closing down to help halt the spread of Covid-19, they are now posting videos on YouTube for free to give people a chance to try Yoga that may have never even thought to try it before.
Even light stretching or a walk with a loved one in your neighborhood, with social distancing, of course, is a great way to unwind and let the body know it’s getting time for bed – again enforcing the need for a routine.
6. Try a CBD with CBN
CBD has shown very promising results for helping people get to sleep faster. The anti-anxiety benefits alone are enough for some to get to sleep, however, it’s cousin, CBN, has emerged as a powerful sedative in some pockets of research. It’s important to note that the data is still being developed on the exact effects of CBN, however, the research is starting to heat up after some promising preliminary results in users.
There’s a limited number of CBD blends available that include CBN. Timberline CBD has Sweet Dreams which is a CBD/CBN Tincture that you can easily manage your dosage on so that you can adjust to your needs. Try starting with a ½ dose/serving the first night to see how it impacts your sleep. From there, you have a starting point to go up or down.
7. Don’t drink caffeine within 6 hours of your regular bedtime.
This seems like a no-brainer, yet the lines at your local Starbucks are still there, even after dinner time. Caffeine has a half-life of 4-6 hours in your body. This means that if you have a cup of coffee after dinner as most do to not feel as drowsy after a large meal, you could still feel the effects of that cup until midnight or later, depending on what time you consume it. I like to stay away from caffeine after noon and while that might not be beneficial or seem ludicrous to some, I like to play it safe when it comes to that night’s sleep.
As we at Timberline CBD continue to research and provide you with the most up-to-date information we can find on the ingredients we offer in our products, we encourage you to check with your own doctor before adding any medication or supplement to your regimen. We hope you have a much better quarantine sleep schedule from now on!