Are you experiencing insomnia during lockdown? If so – you are not alone. On Facebook at the moment, our feed is full of friends all talking about the same thing. So let’s see if we can help a little with that.
Insomnia: a nightmare for many
Insomnia is a common problem for many people, regardless of their age. It can occur at any time in life due to different circumstances such as illness, stress, depression, fatigue, and body ache, among other things.
Right now – many more people than usual are affected because of the isolation at home during the Covid-19 lockdown. The stress, and perhaps the lack of exercise or normal daily activities related to work, doing school runs, or other physical exertions that we don’t realise we normally have in our lives – all of these can contribute to sleepless nights.
Don’t worry if you’re already experiencing this problem because, with a couple of easy to implement tips, hopefully it will only be a short term issue – and hey, we won’t all be restricted to our homes forever. Here are some of the things you can try in your fight against insomnia in the meantime.
Keep to your normal sleep pattern
Try to keep your usual bedtime routine in place. If you normally go to bed at 11pm and rise at 7am – try to stick to this anyway. It may be that you are still tossing and turning for a few days, but eventually your body should give in. By staying up all night bingeing on Netflix, your brain will be experiencing different levels of stimulation to normal, which can contribute to insomnia.
Likewise – don’t be tempted to laze around in bed for too long each day – it may sound like heaven… but it can affect your ability to sleep the following night.
Yes, I know I talked about keeping to your normal routine… but one thing that really works for me is to read something really light as I snuggle down in bed. Light fiction that isn’t too exciting perhaps!
I did learn the hard way not to read anything stimulating at that time, such as self-help or business related books. By dipping into those, I was soon out of bed and firing up the PC, ready to take on the world. But that may just work for you. Something enjoyable but not stimulating. You may find something HERE.
Lavender oil is a common, naturally occurring substance from plants. Lavender is good for the skin, stomach, and general wellness of the entire body. Studies have now found that lavender oil can also work wonderfully to help fight insomnia. Just a couple of drops on your pillow may help. If you’re having mood issues or experiencing some pain in the body that is preventing you from getting quality sleep, lavender can work wonderfully to address these problems by relaxing you and ensuring you get better sleep. There’s a reason that many massage therapists use it as the oil during your relaxation treatments.
Some psychologists recommend that their patients take antidepressants with lavender oil to fight depression (speak to your Doctor if you think that may apply to you). Lavender tea is also an option before going to bed.
CBD effects on sleep
CBD (cannabidiol), is well-known for fighting various health issues, such as muscular or bone pain, seizures and even epilepsy in children. Aside from these issues, CBD is also well known to address anxiety issues and is proving to be effective in fighting insomnia in patients.
CBD is widely recognised as being highly effective in helping people who find it hard falling asleep or staying in the land of nod for long. It is not only a matter of falling asleep but also getting quality sleep by sleeping for the recommended time of 7-8 hours per night.
If you are thinking of getting some for yourself, you can find these products online with Nordic, which also delivers CBD to Spain.
Another important thing you need to improve the quality of your sleep is regular exercise. It helps to wear out your body, reducing the chances of fidgeting. Exercise not only helps you to get fit but boosts your mood, enhances energy levels, helps you lose weight, and finally improves the quality of your sleep.
Regular exercise can also help to reduce anxiety and depression, which otherwise can interfere with your sleep pattern. If you’re experiencing insomnia, try to engage in moderate exercises for at least 20 minutes per day. You can supplement this with some vigorous exercises and strength training a couple of times per week.
Have a massage
Do you remember the last time you had a relaxing massage? How did you feel afterwards? Maybe that feeling is all you need to fight insomnia. Sometimes body weaknesses and fatigue can deny you the luxury of a long night’s sleep. A good massage can also fight anxiety, depression, and muscle pain.
There are various professional massages you can pay for to get your normal sleep pattern back to normal but obviously these aren’t accessible at the moment. You could ask your partner to help, or you can also opt for a self-massage if you don’t want to go the professional way or have someone with healing hands at your disposal.
Quality not quantity
Quality sleep is not only about falling asleep as soon as you get to bed but also getting undisturbed sleep all night long. If you toss and turn or wake up in the middle of the night for no good reason, then this isn’t quality sleep. Likewise – if you’re staying in bed for more than the usual number of hours, you can end up feeling more tired than normal.
Do you always have a siesta during the afternoon? Keep it going. But if you don’t – then it’s probably worth avoiding. By grabbing a couple of extra hours of complete rest, you are taking away from your nighttime ritual. Personally, I grab a siesta when I can – but then that enables me to stay awake later than 8pm from exhaustion.
Try not to drink anything containing stimulants later in the day. I’ve recently stopped drinking tea after 2pm – and it’s really helped!. So avoid that, coffee or fizzy drinks after early afternoon – then your body has longer to rid itself of caffeine and other stimulants by the time you’re ready to head to bed.
Go easy on the alcohol! I know that some of you are self-medicating and having extra tipple at night. It’s a slippery slope – and can lead to longer-term issues… let alone risks a bitch of a hangover the following morning. An alcohol induced sleep is not a natural rest… it’s a stupor.
Some people swear by a mug of warm mile, or a malty drink such as Ovaltine or Horlicks. I’ve not found that they work for me – but give them a go… it may be just what you need.
Have a wee!
It sounds silly, but for many people their sleep is disturbed during the night by their bladder waking them up. So make sure that you visit the bathroom before you head to bed – whether you feel that you need to or not.
If you do wake up with a need to visit the bathroom… try to be as quick as possible. Don’t turn on lights unless you’re at risk of danger, and keep your eyes half-closed. By pretending to be half asleep… you’re more likely to drift off again straight afterwards.
Keep a notebook by the bed
Now this is one that used to really disturb my sleep. The second my head hit the pillow, my brain used to kick in. All those things I had to do the following day… all those new ideas for business… that email I forgot to send… that container I forgot to get out of the freezer… … … they’d leave me tossing and turning until sometimes I would just have to get up! By keeping a pen and a notebook by the bed and jotting down BRIEF notes, I was able to forget about them and act upon them the following day instead.
Let’s be honest – what can you realistically achieve or fix at 4am? not a lot – so don’t try.
Your bed should be your temple!
Your bed is for two things: Sleeping… and making love to your partner (or yourself if that’s your thing). It’s not for doing the quarterly accounts. It’s not for writing the shopping list… and it’s not for firing up Facebook at Stupid O’ Clock and getting more stressed by reading the news or Facebook Group arguments among people who aren’t sleeping either (or whose filters are gone because they’ve hit the bottle).
Speaking of Facebook – try to stay off the internet during the wee hours – you’ really don’t need that extra frustration nor excitement. Turn the volume down or off on your mobile device too – so that it’s not pinging all night.
Keep your bed sacred!
Do you have a spare room?
At the moment – people are worried. So it could be that your partner is tossing and turning too. Just the slightest movement from them can disturb you just as you are managing to drift off. So try moving to another bed for a while – no longer will they disturb you by fidgeting alongside you, nor will they by you.
Try not to stress too much!
Yeah yeah – I know it’s easy to say while difficult to do, but try not to worry too much about it. By worrying, you’re adding to stress – and your mind and body won’t respond well to that. Accept it for what it is – “a temporary disruption” and try one or a few of the suggestions above. You really don’t need to worry because one of these products and/or activities can help you eventually.
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.