Of course, being in lockdown, working from home, and even working reduced hours due to this pandemic may equal more sleep, right? But recently, more and more people in quarantine have been feeling sleepier and more drained than they would if they were out working like usual. This is because the activities we engage in during our stay-at-home time take a different toll on our minds and bodies.
Sleeping longer. Staying inside with a drastically different daily schedule (or lack of a schedule) prompts us to sleep longer. It’s easier to give in to sleep when we don’t have early jobs to wake up and punch into, morning errands to go out and run or time anchors, such as picking up your children from daycare or attending a reoccurring social event. This sudden disruption in our daily lives has gotten us mildly disconnected from tangible time, and now we’re floating through the day as though the ticking hands have melted off the clock. Nowadays, because we likely have nowhere to be at 7:30 in the morning, we’ve become prone to rolling over in our beds and returning back to our dreams.
Excessive screen time. Working from home and helping our children (or siblings) with online learning will add on more screen time than we need. Having to stay at home prompts us to become engaged with endless scrolling through TikTok videos, playing games, watching Netflix and Hulu, and FaceTiming…all on our smartphones and tablets. While these incentives are rather rewarding, they can drain our energy and leave us sleepier during the day. It’s also important to know that peering our eyes into these small, bright screens before bedtime leaves us feeling sleepier when we wake up the next day, even if we’ve gotten a full eight-hour sleep!
Eating more. It’s important to mind what we eat during this difficult season. But being homebodies who are surrounded by delicious—and sometimes unhealthy—foods cause us to eat out of boredom. Filling up on the comfort foods and heavy snacking can leave us feeling sluggish.
Reduce screen time. The amount of screen time the average person gets has increased exponentially since this pandemic sprung. Stay-at-home orders in today’s millennial world equal massive screen time. But we must be wise about using our smart devices, even while using Zoom and FaceTime for work and social obligations. Here are some ways to reduce screen time: limit your work-related screen time, avoid watching movies or television in bed, talk on the phone instead of using chat messaging, and take up a new hobby or learn a new skill (now is the perfect time!).
Go outside (if you can). If you live in a safe neighborhood or area, fresh oxygen will greatly benefit your energy levels, moods, and mental state. Hey, with many people staying inside, the air is getting a lot cleaner! You can do something as simple as sit on your front porch or balcony.
Exercise. While many folks are leery about going to gyms lately, it’s always feasible to work out in your living room or in the front yard. Take a walk around your neighborhood or through a safe area in your community (while practicing social distancing and wearing facemasks!).
Energizing foods. Grocery shopping has changed like crazy, but our diets can still be optimal (especially with less meat). Eating feel-good and energizing foods will help us feel at our best during this season. All-natural greens, fresh fruits with vitamin C, vegetables, and whole grains will keep our energy up (and will even make us sleep more soundly).
Get enough sleep (but not too much). There’s so much going on in the world right now, and we are constantly being thrown with mandates from all different directions. It’s only natural that our circadian cycles are being knocked off balance. According to a recent article on sleepfoundation.org, getting adequate sleep begins with creating a sleep schedule and sticking to it. So, setting a wake-up time, a wind-down time, and an actual bedtime is enough to regulate our bodies to get a good night’s sleep and wake up revitalized every time.