General | October 17, 2020

Managing Pandemic Related Stress to Improve Sleep!

By Dr Jack Williams (osteopath) B.Sci (Clin Sci), MHS (Osteopathy) – Member Osteopathy Australia

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on all of our lives, for most of us the fear of the illness and the uncertainty of living through a pandemic has left us feeling more anxious and worried. These feelings can make it difficult to get a consistent and restful nights sleep. Lack of sleep can have a negative impact our diet, exercise levels, mental health, pain levels and immune system; so now more than ever, it is important we get enough sleep.

Feeling anxious and worried can make falling and staying asleep difficult. While there is increased stress on us from living through a pandemic, there are steps we can take to help maintain good sleeping habits:

  • Avoid excessive exposure to media – Media is a great way to stay informed throughout the pandemic but it can also add to our stress levels. Focus on getting the essential facts from Government websites and give yourself a break from your phone, computer, TV and radio.
  • Exercise regularly – this can have a positive impact on our sleep so make sure you try to move and exercise every day.
  • Talking about our worries – this helps us start to process them – try to talk about what’s stressing you with a trusted friend or family member throughout the day so you don’t take the anxious feelings to bed with you.
  • Developing a normal sleep routine – this can help to improve sleep. Try going to bed and getting up at a similar time each day, and try to avoid social media, alcohol and caffeine as your bedtime approaches.
  • Do more of the things that help relax you – whether it’s reading a book or going for a run, try to find time to do the activities that help clear our mind and manage our stress levels.

If you feel like you are not getting enough sleep or your stress and anxiety levels are getting out of control, it is important to seek medical help. For more information and facts on sleep visit https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au.
If you need to speak to someone, you can seek help on www.beyondblue.org.au or call Lifeline 13 11 14.