This page gives information on the importance of sleep, and resources to help us manage and maintain our sleep pattern in the current coronavirus situation.
Our sleep activity protects and rejuvenates us. By protecting the quality of our sleep we are helping us to protect ourselves.
In stressful and challenging times, our sleep may become disrupted. Sleep plays a vital part in our well-being. It regulates us. It recharges our brain and body, rejuvenating us. Without it, or when it is disrupted, toxins build up which negatively impact our thinking, feelings and behaviours. Without sleep, our decision making is poor, and we don’t have the elasticity to cope with the things that stressful times may require of us.
Ensuring that we can experience the restorative benefits of sleep is vital, as a foundational protective factor against stress. It is normal when we experience an event like the current coronavirus situation that we have issues with our sleep.
Self-soothing, sensory activities, like on the coping skills page, are perfect for helping our sleep routines, as they help us to relax. Relaxation is a key physical process needed for encouraging us to fall asleep and to stay asleep. We can prepare our body and mind to embark on our journey into restful sleep.
E-LEARNING RESOURCE: To understand more about the importance of sleep for health and well-being, there is a good information resource from the Royal Society of Public Health. This is a free e-learning course available here: Understanding Sleep.
SELF-SOOTHE for gentle relaxation.
We can use our senses to help “self-soothe” ourselves. Sensory-based activities can help to support our mind to calm down and also help our bodily relaxation. Try out the self-soothing activities on the coping skills page, in section 3, for some gentle relaxation.
To help relax, resettle and self-soothe within a broken night’s sleep.
For broken sleep, focus on gentle relaxation techniques to help resettle yourself. There is also a “midnight and early hours” sensory den activity on the coping skills page. This activity is at the bottom of the “creating our sensory den space”, in section 4 on the page, for you to try out and explore.
Eugene, A.R. and Masiak, J. 2015. The neuroprotective aspects of sleep. MEDtube Science, 3(1), pp. 35–40.
Harvard Medical School. 2019. Sleep and mental health. Sleep deprivation can effect your mental health. Harvard. Harvard health Publishing.
Haspel et al. 2020. Perfect timing. Circadian rhythms, sleep and immunity – an NIH workshop activity. JCI Insight, 5 (1), e131487. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.131487
Kalmbach, D.A., Anderson, J.R. and Drake, C.L. 2018. The impact of stress on sleep. Pathogenic sleep reactivity as a vulnerability to insomnia and circadian disorders. J Sleep Res, 27 (6), doi: 10.1111/jsr.12710
Labrecque, N. and Cermakian, N. 2015. Circadian clocks in the immune system. J Biol Rhythms, 30 (3), pp. 277-290.