Struggling to get restful sleep in crisis? If a racing mind makes it hard to relax, you’re having weird dreams or waking up at odd times, help is here.
“Not again!” my foggy brain materialized the thought as I sat up in the black of night for the third time that week. I knew the time on the clock even before I glanced over to my bedside table: 2:00 am.
Corona virus has left its mark on each of us in myriad ways. But, perhaps the common denominator for most of us is an unwelcome change in sleep patterns.
Whether you’re laying awake with worries on your mind, having weird dreams, or like me, waking up in the middle of the night, here’s help.
This guide to restful sleep during crisis is a compilation of many practical helps. You’ll find links to expert studies, previous posts, and printable guides.
Comment below and let me know which ideas have helped you or that you plan to try. Restful sleep during crisis is oh-so-elusive but truly a game changer in helping us navigate these challenging days.
Trouble Falling Asleep
More than ever, current events and personal circumstances can keep us tossing and turning at bedtime. Here’s a small sampling of worries that may be keeping you up at night:
- Altered daily routine
- Fear for a loved-one’s health
- Family issues
- Furlough or job loss
- Financial challenges
We are creatures of habit, so it should be no surprise that daily routines can signal our body to fall into a restful pattern. Try some of these ideas and products to get ready for bed.
10 Soothing Ways to Calm Your Evening Routine
Believe it or not, a restful night’s sleep begins with your morning schedule. If you’re like me, morning wake time may have changed related to the altered schedule of staying home. Let’s give ourselves permission to sleep in when we can-within limits.
If you find yourself rising after noon each day, it may be time to set the alarm and readjust your sleep cycle. Once awake, it’s important to keep a morning routine of personal care, tidying up, and setting some productivity goals.
Trouble Staying Asleep
As if we weren’t having a hard enough time with perimenopause sleep issues, crisis came along and took the last vestiges of a good night’s slumber. If you’re ready to make some new habits in exchange for feeling refreshed and ready for the day, read this.
Had Enough Sleepless Nights As You Age? Make These Changes Now
Even if you had a great morning routine before the crisis, you’ll most likely need to revisit your habits and make some adjustments. Here are some great ideas to get you started.
The Secrets of a Powerful Morning Routine
Has the pandemic disruption led to bizarre nighttime images? According to research, that’s not surprising.
even higher than normal levels of everyday stress might be enough to trigger nightmares in some people.Early Bird by Amerisleep
Waking up with vivid nightmares or dreading sleep because of them? It’s time to take action.
Getting restful sleep in crisis may be as straightforward as taking notes. Keep a notepad and pen at your bedside. The next time you wake up with a vivid dream, write it out as best you can remember. This simple act of transferring what’s in your subconscious to paper may be enough to help you fall back to sleep.
If the problem continues, take note of your bedtime habits:
- What did you eat before bed?
- Were you looking at a screen until you nodded off?
- Have your medications changed?
- How much caffeine have you consumed and when?
Still having problems? It may be time to get help from your medical professional. Most offices are fielding telehealth calls for problems like this.
Restful Sleep In Crisis
When I polled fellow Empty Nest Moms on this topic, I discovered a majority of us are struggling to get restful sleep in crisis. While a minority stated they now have freedom to fall into natural rhythms, most are struggling greatly to fall and stay asleep.
If your young adult has returned from school, your privacy, schedule and emotional dynamic has been dramatically disrupted. You may be hoping this extra time together yields some great family memories, but all this togetherness is wearing thin.
Young adults’ sleep cycles are typically wonky, especially when they have a loose class schedule and lack of in-person social interaction. While we can strongly encourage them to keep a schedule, in the end that’s up to them.
We can, however, be aware of how their schedule is affecting our sleep. Tempted to stay up til dawn watching true crime dramas with your son? Let him know you can only afford to indulge on weekends.
Does your daughter start getting chatty just as your head hits the pillow? Ask to take a walk and share some conversation before you’re too tired to respond.
When all semblance of time is turned upside down, having a scheduled activity can make sense of your days. Ask your young adult to plan an activity from this list for a bright spot to look forward to, and keep the days from blurring together.
Trapped With College Kids? 100 Blissful Survival Solutions
A Weekly Plan
Setting a weekly schedule can really help when it comes to getting restful sleep in crisis. Keep this printable handy at your bedside when your mind darts to the days ahead. Putting those thoughts on paper in the form of a plan will help you rest.
When all is said and done, flexibility is key. Planning every day to the minute will probably lead to frustration and flared tempers when unexpected changes occur.
What Happens When You Seize Your Empty Nest Routine
Still, having broad weekly goals will create a daily rhythm that’s more likely to result in a peaceful night’s sleep.
If you’re struggling for motivation to tackle your sleep problems, consider these facts based on recent studies.
- Lack of sleep is tied to memory loss and poor problem solving skills
- Poor sleep is a factor in developing heart disease, diabetes, and many other serious health concerns
- A well rested body improves your libido (motivation for both of you!)
- Sleepiness contributes to or worsens symptoms of depression
- Adequate sleep can greatly improve skin health and decrease wrinkles
In the end, the greatest reason for getting restful sleep in crisis is this one: you’re worth it! After a day of doling out homework help, good food, and wisdom, you deserve a peaceful trip to slumber land.
I love that you included that your morning routine can have a lot to do with how you sleep, because I don’t think a lot of people realize that, or if they do, they haven’t really thought about the impact!
Thanks, Ashly! I hope you got some helpful ideas.