The importance of sleep during a pandemic

The importance of sleep during a pandemic

How do you manage your anxiety about a pandemic so that it does not go to sleep? In addition to following guidelines from the authorities regarding the coronavirus, this can be a time to protect a little extra about good sleep habits.

In times of crisis and anxiety, sleep often suffers. And maybe this is something that you are experiencing right now. In the midst of the global health crisis, as a result of the corona virus (covid-19), there are certainly many people experiencing sleep problems. Maybe you read a lot of news right now? Does social media use more? Thinking and talking a lot about the corona virus and having difficulty unwinding? And when you go to sleep you turn and turn and are chased by a lot of thoughts, questions and anxiety. First of all, of course, follow precautions and guidelines from the authorities. But besides that, this can be a time to cherish a little extra about good sleep habits. Today we go through the importance of sleep for our resilience and our overall well-being. We also provide some handy tips that can help you during a worrying time. 

What happens in my body when I sleep?

Sleep is our most important function for recovery. During deep sleep, important build-up processes take place in the body that, in turn, help us better resist infections.

Namely, during sleep, the immune system produces protective and infectious agents in the body, such as cytokines. Cytokines, a group of proteins and peptides, whose function is to carry chemical signals in the body and contribute to the immune system. They act as a shield that helps fight various viruses and bacteria. They also help us sleep which gives the immune system more energy and power to continue defending itself against diseases.

During sleep, the body also releases substances that build up our muscles and skeletons. It also releases a lot of hormones and proteins that act as a protection against infections. The protein that is usually talked about is AcPb, which is found in the brain and seems necessary for both sleep and the immune system. In short, it is during sleep that the body gets a chance to repair and cure itself. For example, from the infections the body is exposed to during the day.

Why is deep sleep important?

Have you heard that deep sleep is important? But did you know that the proof is essential for the body’s recovery? This applies, among other things, to hormone production, cell repair, strengthening of the immune system, brain, memory and learning ability. Thus, without sufficient deep sleep, life and everyday life can be affected.

In terms of time, deep sleep usually occurs when you have slept for an hour. Therefore, the first few hours are very important for your sleep. However, deep sleep is independent when we have gone to bed, so it is not controlled by a clock. But regular sleep times are always recommended to achieve a good long-term quality of sleep.

Why do I get tired when I’m sick?

Sleep is extremely powerful and the reason you so much want to sleep when you are sick is an instinct. An effective instinct. When you get sick, the immune system actively stimulates the sleep system. This way, more sleep is needed to build a strong defense against illness.

What can I do to sleep better now?

For those who actively want to work on what can help you and your sleep in troubled times, there are many different tools to add. Here we go through 4 solid tips that can lay a good foundation for this.

1.Keep regular sleep times

Keeping a consistent schedule for sleep can be important for you and your circadian rhythm. That is, the individual clock that controls you. One of the cornerstones for good sleep is just getting up and sleeping at the same time each day. 

If you tend to sleep differently this weekend, try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule to a maximum of one hour. Being consistent strengthens your body’s sleep and alertness cycle. The brain seeks regularity. Therefore, clear sleep routines are important as it helps to signal that it is time to sleep.

2. Set aside time for downwind 

Finding ways to help your brain relax is important and good when it comes to your sleep. It’s about learning to send signals to your body. This way, it records that, for example, it’s time to sleep and you fall asleep more easily. The trick is called routines and it is therefore about being consistent. Teaching the body signs that it’s time to sleep. Find what makes you unwind. Take a bath, prepare your morning, drink a cup of tea. Listen to relaxing music, do some meditation exercises or just relax and get ready for the night. 

3. Limit screen time before bedtime

Right now you may feel a need to be constantly updated about the corona virus. And maybe it will also be the last thing you read about before going to sleep? Unfortunately, however, it is not a good recipe for good sleep. In fact, you should try to avoid screens 1.5 hours before going to bed.

Namely, light from electronic devices can interfere with the body’s natural circadian rhythm. In addition, it can trigger emotional and hormonal responses in the body. Our wakefulness increases and thus the release of melatonin is suppressed. Melatonin is the hormone that makes us tired. If this is off-balance, it often results in feeling nervous when you feel tired and asleep.

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