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It must be admitted while #stayathome due to COVID-19, most of us are having trouble to hit the sack. The inability to sleep well at night caused by plenty reasons which lead to exhaustion while keeping up with your work or study. Distractions including urge to have a mid-afternoon nap amidst your daily schedules or postponing important tasks could be the main reason why your body cannot tell the difference between work or study and sleep hours. Here are simple steps you probably need to get your sleep cycle back on right track.
1. Set Limits
Choose specific spot in your home or dorm to help increasing creativity during work or study at home. Try to use a real table, like your working desk and avoid mattresses, sofas, cushions, beanbags or any comfortable surfaces to get your tasks done. It aims to stimulate your body to distinguish between work or study and rest time.
It also applies to your devices, either smartphone, laptop, television or video game console. It simply because during work or study from home, you might spend more time to check those devices back and forth. Either checking social media constantly, binge-watching your favourite dramas or serial or having online meeting. Excessive screen time which referring to the amount of time you spent using a device changes your brain. Blue light from your devices reducing melatonin or sleep hormone which lead to sleep deprivation. In short, an hour before bed, try to stay away from any devices as much as you can. Replace with meditation, books or other relaxing things to do to make you fall asleep.
2. Eating Habits
It is highly recommended to not having full meal and snack at least three hours before bed. If you have to, choose easily digested foods only. For example, if you eat chicken for dinner, your body need 1.5 – 2 hours to digest it, while beef take longer time for 3 hours. In a word, choose easily digested protein for proper dinner such as vegetables with 30 – 45 minutes digestion time or fish for 45 – 60 minutes.
Remember yourself to avoid caffeinated drink such as coffee, tea, and soda. As quoted from hellosehat.com, caffeine reaches its peak around 30 – 60 minutes after consumption. Half of it stays for 3 – 5 hours while the other stays for longer time 8 – 14 hours. Thus, caffeine fooling adenosine receptors and wakes you up. Naturally, adenosine sending signals to your body to become drowsy. When you drink caffeinated drink, it slows down brain activity in preparation for sleep. You better replace caffeine intake with water that go straight to the body or fruit juice that can be easily digested within 15 – 20 minutes.
While #stayathome, keep doing your daily schedules in right track like before this pandemic happens. Start from light exercise before start your morning activities, take a shower, eat your breakfast and so forth until you arrived at work or school. Wake up at the same time every single day. You just cannot wake up minutes before working or studying time even #stayathome. According to James Wilson, sleep and environmental behaviour expert, a fixed wake time will help your body realize its biological clock (sleep and wake cycle). If you can follow these steps consistently, your body will realize time to wake up, work or study, take a lunch break and sleep naturally.