What just happened? We arrived in the 2021 clearing but are not out of any woods yet. The world is rich with discussion of where we will go from here and how we will recover. It’s easy to deflate like a balloon these days with so much uncertainty in the air. It also definitely doesn’t help that sleep has been affected on a global scale. Some sleep experts have taken to calling it, “COVID-somnia” as thousands of people are losing sleep to the stresses of the past year.
Multiple studies have been conducted in hopes of understanding just what needs fixing in our daily habits during this pandemic. One such study processed 5,525 Canadians in an online survey to determine how their sleep has been affected. Rébecca Robillard, Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa had this to say in the journal,
“We found that half of our participants showed signs of serious sleep problems during the pandemic. Specifically, we identified three different profiles of sleep changes: those who sleep more; those whose sleep schedule was pushed to later bed and wake-up times; and those who are getting less sleep than they did before the pandemic.”
The latter two subgroups that Robillard identified experienced harsh consequences in sleep and physical changes, which can be attributed to pandemic stress. Here at Zenbev we have heard from many people this past year who had never previously had any trouble with sleep. They tell us nothing else has changed but suddenly they are experiencing interrupted sleep they can’t get a handle on. It would appear that the pandemic has contributed to an underlying element of fear and vigilance that is insidious and difficult to shake. How do we move on from this and how can we recover?
Now that we have a glimmer of hope with news of vaccine rollouts, we can start to focus on patching the holes in our daily lives. All this will soon pass but don’t put it off, the time is now. There are some serious and conscious changes you can make that are not too stress-filled and will help get you back on track in 2021:
- Build a Schedule
If there is anything quarantines and lockdowns have taught us, it’s that time can be very pliable. Following a routine and getting back into the swing of things can work wonders for those of us who need to get a grip on our habits, toss bad ones and get into good ones. This includes going to bed at a set time and waking up at a similar one each morning. Like most of us, your brain doesn’t like surprises and works better when it gets tucked in to sleep at the same time each night and wakes consistently.
- Sleep in the Dark
Do a check of your sleep space. First, view it as just that: a space to make sleep a priority, not an afterthought. Now is the time to remove distractions and take a good look at the amount of light that may be contributing to you staying awake. Remove any light (or sound) emitting gadgets you don’t absolutely need in your sleep space. Try not to view bright screens up to two hours before bed. Ditch any nightlights and check your window coverings. Are they blocking all the light? A good quality sleep mask is a great way to accomplish this. Your brain makes more of its own melatonin the darker it is, and healthy sleep in our books means helping you produce as much of your own natural brain melatonin as possible.
- Eat Wisely for Better Sleep
As concluded in an article by Sleep.org, a balanced diet can work wonders for your sleep. If you, like many of us, have fallen into less than desirable eating habits this can be your motivation! Eating healthy food at regular times with modest portions can be a gamechanger. Getting better sleep can be surprisingly effective in uplifting your mood as a whole, so this healthy eat-sleep dynamic should be a major goal for 2021. Avoid caffeinated drinks and foods as well as alcoholic beverages before bed. Plan to work healthy nighttime snacks and drinks into your new routine.
- Get on the Zenbev track
Taking Zenbev Drink Mix to help get your sleep schedule back on track is one of the best habits you can get into this year. Not only is it the healthiest natural sleep aid, it is easy to take, delicious and will not cause drowsiness, dependence or tolerance. You can stop it easily as soon as you get your sleep schedule back on track. It really is the best over the counter sleep aid as it is totally natural and created by a medical doctor. Combined with taking steps such as those described above, Zenbev Drink Mix is a very healthy habit to step into 2021 with!