77% of Americans have had trouble getting sleep since the beginning of the pandemic, and it’s probably not going to get better any time soon. The stress we experience in our waking lives carries over to our sleeping lives and it can affect more than just our dreams. While it’s true that many people have been reporting unusually vivid or memorable dreams and nightmares because of the pandemic, the lack of sleep is also causing us to have decreased health on top of everything else. Sweet slumber is an important part of immunity, and we need our immune systems to be healthy and functional now more than ever. So how can we leverage all the tech and resources at our disposal to ensure we get a better night’s rest?
Regardless of whether you have lost a job or not, most of us are spending extra time at home these days. Some are trying to get extra rest, but others are finding it difficult to sleep at all. Stress makes it harder to fall asleep and to stay asleep, and it also can make sleep fitful and not restful enough.
Unfortunately, rest is crucial to having a healthy immune system. There are three ways in which sleep impacts immunity: lack of sleep reduces cytokines and white blood cells that fight off infections and increases cortisol that triggers inflammation.
In order to get better rest, maintain a routine, go to bed and wake at the same time every day, and end screen time at least 30 minutes before bedtime. There are also technological changes you can make to your daily routine that can help you sleep better. Change apps to dark mode to decrease blue light exposure, use a white noise app when you sleep and try to avoid news and social media before bedtime.
Learn more about the power of sleeping and how to get better sleep from the infographic below.
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