2020 has already been a taxing year on our bodies. Many of us feel the after-effects of daylight savings, combating sickness, or feelings of fatigue from vacation or holiday traveling. At the time of this article, discussions of COVID-19, or “Coronavirus” are inescapable, with public health officials like the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring a worldwide pandemic. With the world on Coronavirus watch, people want to know what they can do to better protect themselves from becoming infected.
Regardless of the uncertainties surrounding the Coronavirus, there are things you can do today to better prepare yourself from any kind of virus or flu, like:
Wash your hands thoroughly (and often).
Distance yourself from large groups and public spaces.
Make sure your immune system is up to par.
The first two are pretty self-explanatory, but what can you do to make sure your immune system is up to the challenge? One of the best ways to support your immune system is to get quality sleep. More specifically, how to get more deep sleep.
How to Promote Better Sleep for Better Health.
1. Chill Out.
Your best chance of achieving deep sleep is when your core temperature is lowered. To best achieve a lower core temperature, sleep with the thermostat between 60-67. Sleep with light, breathable clothing like cotton or bamboo, and stay away from synthetic materials that trap heat and keep your body hot.
Resource: How to Build Muscle in Your Sleep
If you don’t share the same sleeping habits as your partner, or you want to take your sleep to the next level, check out our cooling weighted blanket, the chiliBLANKET, Cube or OOLER Sleep System. These clinically-researched, advanced sleep solutions allow you to set your own temperature-regulated schedule.
Most people have a nighttime routine that involves watching tv to unwind or catching up on social media before hitting the hay. The blue light emitted from these devices block the release of melatonin after only 1.5 hours of use in the evening, making it harder to fall asleep.
Power down for the night at least two hours before you plan on going to sleep and replace the time you would have spent on your phone or watching tv unwinding by meditating, relaxing, or reading a (paper) book, or, just going to bed! If you absolutely need to look at a screen emitting blue light, consider blue-blocking glasses for extra protection.
Exercise is one of the best ways for your body to naturally find its way into a deep sleep. In fact, people who exercise in the early morning spend 75% more time in a deep restorative stage of sleep than those who exercise later in the day. In the case of sleep health, it’s more beneficial to exercise in the morning as opposed to night due to the rise in your core temperature, which stays elevated for roughly four to five hours after a workout.
4. Limit Eating, Smoking, and Drinking Before Bed.
It’s easy to come home after a long day and have a glass of wine, smoke, or eat a late dinner and go to sleep. These habits make it difficult for our bodies to reach the deep restorative sleep we need. Avoid eating late or large meals late at night and cut out drinking and smoking altogether. If cutting it cold turkey is difficult, consider drinking caffeine-free tea like Chamomile or Lavender, which naturally promote relaxation and sleep.
5. Make a Sleep Schedule – and Stick to It.
Between the newly added stresses of kids being home from school, working from home (or working extra hours, depending on your industry), and worrying about our elderly parents and neighbors, it’s more important than ever to have a normal sleep schedule. This is where your immune system builds and maintains itself, so while it may be tough right now, try your best to sleep well. If you’re really tired during the day, take a twenty-minute nap during the early part of the day (between 1 and 3).
Prepare for a Better Tomorrow.
If there’s any positive message that’s come out of the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s to be grateful for your health. In today's busy world, it’s easy to treat health as a “luxury'' rather than an essential part of survival that it is. If taking care of yourself hasn’t been a priority before, it certainly deserves to be a priority now.
While social distancing is strongly urged, it doesn’t mean social separation entirely. Use this as an opportunity to remain emotionally connected in innovative ways. This is where the digital age shines! Chat with neighbors on the sidewalk, catch up with friends via FaceTime or video chat, or join a virtual book club or exercise program that the whole family can participate in! And remember, wash your hands, stay away from large crowds, and get the sleep you need. Your body will thank you for it!