Tips for getting a good night’s sleep

April 30, 2020 BY

Community members feeling the strain of coronavirus might be finding it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, but Beyond Blue is here to help.

With coronavirus at the forefront of many people’s minds, anxiety and stress can cause disrupted sleep, which can affect mental health and wellbeing.
A Beyond Blue spokesperson said everyone could experience disrupted sleep at times; but issues getting to sleep, staying asleep, or waking up at a ridiculous hour on a regular basis should be addressed.
Getting on top of your sleep is an important part of managing your mental health; research shows that quality sleep at night helps you better manage your emotions during the day – and this is a priority right now in terms of supporting good mental health amid coronavirus.
The good news is that there are evidence-based strategies for dealing with issues sleeping, which Beyond Blue has put together.
These focus on creating habits that better associate your bed with sleep.

Start calming your mind and body in the afternoon
Tiring yourself through (at-home) exercise will help but try to do it in the first half of the day.
4-6 hours before bed, limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.
Two hours before bed, avoid using any devices. Screen light and apps are designed to trigger hormones in your brain that keep you alert.

Be consistent around bedtime
Avoid napping during the day
Develop a bedtime routine and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day (even on weekends).
Keep your bed for sleeping only; don’t read, watch TV or use your phone in bed.

Get out of bed if you can’t sleep
If you haven’t been able to sleep after 20 minutes, get up and do something boring in dim light until you’re tired and then try again. And repeat as often as needed. It may take a few tough nights sticking to this rule to see results, but it can be the most effective strategy of the lot.
Develop a bedtime routine and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day (even on weekends).
Write down any thoughts you’re stuck on in a notepad to get them out of your head. Working on improving your sleep may feel futile at first – so continue to remind yourself about why getting more sleep is important to you.
Experiment with some of these strategies and see what works best for you. If sleep continues to be an issue, it’s worth talking to a specialist and finding out about the full range of treatment options available.