After a long day, being productive can be the last thing on your mind, especially in the midst of a global pandemic with stress levels at an all-time high. My iPhone has repeatedly let me know that my screen time has skyrocketed since the COVID-19 crisis began, which is no surprise. The first few months of our new reality I spent endless hours scrolling through the latest news updates when I should’ve been asleep. Spoiler alert: reviewing a transcript of the latest Trump/Fauci press conference does not help you drift peacefully off to sleep.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve prioritized re-establishing a nighttime routine like I used to have before the world shut down, and the positive impact has been almost immediate. Here’s a few helpful tips.
- Read. Screens have blue light which prevents you from being able to fall asleep, so reading instead of binging another episode on Netflix is key to being able to turn your brain off. Reese Witherspoon’s book club is a good place to start if you want a solid book recommendation.
- Listen to a podcast. If reading isn’t your thing, you can also choose to listen to a podcast before bed to unwind without needing a screen. Just make sure not to choose anything too “murdery” that will keep you up needing to know more.
- Jot it down. I used to not be the biggest fan of journaling, but I discovered a gratitude journal on Amazon that provides writing prompts and that’s been a game changer. I also like to prepare my to do list for the following day before bed. If I write down everything I have to do tomorrow, I find that I’m a lot less likely to be up tossing and turning with anxiety about what the next day will entail.
- Avoid a night cap. My alcohol consumption increased by approximately 50000% during quarantine. While having a few glasses of wine can often help you fall asleep quicker, the sugar in alcohol tends to lead to a restless night of sleep.