1. Get into a daily routine
With everything happening at the moment, it’s likely your normal routine has been disrupted. But having a regular sleeping pattern is really important for good sleep.
It may be harder to do right now, but if you can wake up, wind down and go to bed around the same time each day, it will really help. If possible, avoid napping too.
Remember, your sleep routine starts before you actually get into bed, so build in time every evening to wind down – and try to switch off from your tech.
Things like reading, gentle stretches or meditation are a good way to unwind, and keeping chargers for your devices out of the bedroom can help you avoid absent-minded scrolling.
Listen: Progressive muscle relaxation
2. Manage your worries
Concern or anxiety about the coronavirus outbreak is perfectly normal, but these feelings can affect how easily you fall asleep and how well you sleep.
There are things you can do in your day to help manage your worries, like talking to someone you trust and switching off from the news.
If you often lie awake worrying, set aside time before bed to make a to-do list for the next day – this can be a good way to put your mind at rest.
Using techniques like reframing unhelpful thoughts might also help.
Video: Reframing unhelpful thoughts
3. Prepare your body for sleep
Our physical health and how we look after our body can have a big effect on our sleep. It can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that can end up making your sleep worse, especially at times like these.
Having caffeine, alcohol, nicotine or a big meal too close to bedtime can stop you falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Try to avoid them before bed and see if things improve.
Regular exercise is also great for sleep. Just remember to steer clear of anything too vigorous right before bedtime if you find it affects your sleep, and make sure you stay at least 2 metres apart from others if you’re exercising outside.
4. Create a restful environment
Simple things can have a big impact when it comes to falling asleep and staying asleep.
It’s generally easier to drop off when it’s cool, dark and quiet – but the right sleep environment is personal, so try different things and see what works for you.
Wearing earplugs, putting your phone on silent and face down (or out of the room entirely), keeping clocks out of view and making sure the room is well ventilated can all make a big difference.
Some people also find playing ambient sounds like rainfall, gentle music or white noise helpful.
5. Confront sleeplessness
If you’re lying awake unable to sleep, do no not try to force it. If you’re tired and enjoying the feeling of resting, then sleep may naturally take over.
But if not, get up and do something relaxing for a bit, like reading a book or listening to quiet music, and go back to bed when you feel sleepier.