As the world gets back to “normal,” during the pandemic as people get vaccinated, experts are providing advice on how to get back to a better sleep schedule. Here are some tips to get back on track.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 20 percent of adults reported sleep troubles during the pandemic during a summer 2020 study. And 60 percent struggled with pandemic-related insomnia.
“A lot of people thought that our sleep should be getting better because we can see the light at the end of the tunnel — but it’s worse now than it was last year,” said Dr. Fariha Abbasi-Feinberg, a sleep medicine specialist and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in the New York Times. “People are still really struggling.”
To beat insomnia, if you don’t fall asleep after 25 minutes, get out of bed, experts say. “Just get up, don’t fret,” Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of the best-selling book “Why We Sleep said to the New York Times. “If you stay in bed awake for long periods of time, your brain thinks, ‘Every time I get into bed, this is the place where I should be awake.’ And you need to break that association.”
Writing down thoughts one to two hours before bed and limiting screens in the bedroom can also help. Experts say that screens should not be used while lying down in bed, if you need to use it, stand up and check your phone or tablet to remove bad associations. Sleep experts also recommend exercise. 29 studies found that exercise helped people fall asleep.
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