How to Overcome a Challenging Pandemic Sleep Routine

August 2, 2020

You might want to think twice before having that nightcap before bed — especially if you’re hoping it will help you sleep better.

During this pandemic, some people are getting more sleep than ever because they have more free time with less commuting and not rushing the kids around as much as before. Others have experienced sleep problems due to struggles with anxiety because of the pandemic and related issues.

Dr. Nicole Avena, assistant professor of neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and visiting professor of health psychology at Princeton University told WBBM some have turned to a glass of wine or beer thinking it will help them relax and fall asleep more easily. But that's not always the case.

“It actually has the opposite effect and what often ends up happening is that, when people drink alcohol, it really disrupts their sleep patterns," Avena said. "They’re not able to get into those deep sleep states that are really those restorative states that we need in order to feel our best and for our sleep to be as impactful as it can be."

Avena recommends for those having trouble falling asleep to try a supplement like melatonin to help you get some shuteye without having an effect on sleep cycles.

“Certainly having a healthy diet, trying to avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime, also making sure your environment is conducive to good sleep (will help)," she said.

She recommends making sure lighting is dim and having comfortable bedding — all things that can have an impact on the quality of your sleep. Avena said these routines are simple changes that can really make a big impact.

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