The Effects of the Quarantine
Finding yourself falling asleep later and later? Can’t seem to get up at your usual time? Many of us are dealing with these issues now. Why? In part, reduced physical activity reduced exposure to sunlight, and increased exposure to computer or phone screens are culprits. What can we do?
Exposing your eyes to sunlight as soon as you awaken. This provides signaling to the brain and plays an important role in entraining the circadian rhythms.
If possible, engage in some type of physical activity upon awakening as well. This also is typically activating and can help with the sleep-wake cycle.
Plan a specific time to go to bed. Leading up to that time, be mindful of activities that may be activating and try your best to reduce them; engage in activities that are relaxing.
The environment also plays a role in preparing to go to bed. For example, the choice of music as you approach bedtime, the type of lighting, and the amount of screen exposure can all be adjusted to try to reduce stimulation as bedtime approaches.
Consider downloading f.lux here, which adjusts your screen’s hue and brightness as your target bedtime approaches, available for mobile and desktop. I am not compensated for this endorsement, it is just a very useful tool.
Set expectations. Unfortunately its not possible to shift one’s sleep schedule abruptly and rapidly. If your goal is to go to bed earlier, setting a goal of shifting back 15-30 mins every few days is reasonable.
Lastly, check with your doctor. A personalized evaluation is key in addressing sleep issues.