Sleeping well during COVID-19 is a challenge, but doctors stress that you still have to try sleeping better. You might not expect it, but several adults report experiencing nightmares. No one is safe from nightmares, especially during a pandemic. If you want a good night’s rest every day, here are a few tips from Jennifer Martin.
Martin teaches medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Follow a Sleep Routine
Preventing nightmares might be as simple as improving your sleeping habits. Martin said that nightmares happen during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During this stage, the body relaxes and dreams start. If you wake up during REM sleep, you’ll remember your dream, and you’ll feel stress.
To avoid waking up too early, you should develop a good sleeping routine. Start exercising and sleeping at consistent times. You also have to wake up at consistent times. Make sure your room is dark and cold. Don’t drink stimulants in the afternoon, and do relaxing activities.
Stop Drinking So Much
Drinking alcohol can make you restless and wake you up at night. While people use alcohol to wind down at night, drinking doesn’t help them sleep well, Martin said. Martin suggests that you should drink herbal teasinstead. If you don’t like tea, try reading or talking with another person.
If you still want to drink, though, do it over three hours before your bedtime.
Don’t Munch Before Bed
According to the National Sleep Foundation, eating before bed can lead to nightmares. Eating boosts your metabolism, which increases brain activity, which could induce nightmares.
If you can help it, stop eating two or three hours before going to sleep. You should also avoid midnight snacks or heavy dinners before sleeping.