It’s no secret things are chaotic right now: The stats are scary, social-distancing and self-containment aren’t part of the normal routine, and the anxiety and stir-craziness that surround it all is a lot to take in—a mix that makes the perfect recipe for not sleeping so great.
Unfortunately, it’s also no secret that lack of sleep only adds to stress levels and hurts our immunity, according to Dr. Vicente Mera, chief specialist in sleep medicine, and nutritionist Melanie Waxman. The in-resident experts are part of the team of experts at SHA Wellness, a special place known for its holistic “rebooting” and very specific sleep programs. Here’s what the duo says you can do starting today to help you sleep better tonight:
Keep a rhythm
This one doesn’t just apply to a jet-lag situation: Chances are, you’re not in your normal routine and it’s a pretty important step to stick to what’s standard right now—i.e., even without a morning commute, put priority on going to bed at a decent hour and waking up early.
Move—even if it’s moderately
No, that doesn’t mean run out to the gym. Practicing even “light” exercise or doing some yoga moves and stretches in the hours before going to bed can greatly improve sleep patterns.
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This one is never easy, and even harder to do with the calling of “quarantine snacks,” but hear the expert duo out: Dinner should take place two hours before going to bed—no later. They also recommend avoiding spicy foods, fats, tobacco and alcohol, as they only hamper digestion and affect the nervous system.
In a perfect sleep situation, the bedroom should be in complete darkness, cool, but with good ventilation, and, above all, quiet.
The trio of electronic devices, light and noise means nothing good for falling asleep. According to SHA, if it’s not possible to fall asleep after 15 minutes, try a short session of stretching or breathing exercises.
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