Chronic stress can cause major sleep issues. CNN reports on how to cope with disrupted sleep during the era of coronavirus.
You sleep less, and what restless sleep you do get is of poor quality, often with frequent awakenings.That likely means you’re getting little deep sleep, the type of rest the brain and body need for rejuvenation. It’s also during deep sleep that your brain tells the body to stop making stress hormones, particularly cortisol, according to the National Sleep Foundation.Without those chemical signals from the brain, your system keeps churning out that stress hormone, which peaks in the early afternoon and evening — about the time you should be calming your system for bed.That means you sleep even worse that night, the stress hormones go up the next day, and the cycle continues.
What to do? Here are some research-backed options to try:
Keep a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each day. That helps train your brain to expect sleep. Get out of the house for at least 15 to 30 minutes a day. Daylight helps set your circadian rhythm, or body clock.
Exercise. Even mild exercise, such as walking, improves sleep. But make sure any intense exercise isn’t too close to bedtime. Stop any caffeine intake by 3 p.m. This includes coffee, black or green tea, and sodas. Chamomile tea, however, is a good option before bed because the herb can help with relaxation.