If there was a word to describe quarantine, it would be disruption; our eating pattern has been disrupted, our schedule has gone into the trash and doesn’t even get started on the sleeping pattern. While the clock says 3 a.m., that is now the 10 p.m. for a lot of us.
India has seen an increase of 87 percent in the usage of social media apps. Apart from television and streaming platforms, internet browsing saw a spike of 72 percent in the first two weeks of lockdown. During March 21st-27th, which was also the first week of lockdown, India’s TV consumption grew by 37 percent and crossed a record of 1.21 trillion minutes. As the days of lockdown extend, we keep getting hooked onto Netflix and gadgets. However, what we really should be hooking onto, is sleep.
Remember the days when work-deadlines and traffic jams had taken control of our sleep? Those days are finally gone! Why then, are we stressing ourselves with binge-watching shows and movies instead of sleeping? Shouldn’t we be working on getting rid of our dark circles? We spent hours working on assignments and projects, shouldn’t we reward ourselves? If you listen to your body, you will know that it is craving for sleep, a lot of it!
The term ‘circadian rhythm’ refers to our internal body clock that takes care of the body’s sleeping pattern. It controls hormones, body temperature, and functions on our body’s exposure to sunlight and regular meals. We will all be found guilty of eating packets of chips or homemade cheesecake while binge-watching season 4 of Money Heist all night. The question is, would you continue to follow the disturbed eating and sleeping pattern? We suggest that you think again. Here are five ways you can fix a quarantine routine for your body.
- Sleeping is the need of the hour – We have all had busy schedules, deadlines, and meetings. We have all been the first one to enter our office and the last one to leave. Now is the time to relax and rejuvenate. We shouldn’t compromise on our sleep anymore. If you are someone who has been sleeping for unusually long hours – do not panic. This is your body relaxing and catching up on all the lost sleep. Allow your body and mind to recover. Studies have shown that long hours of sleeping have significantly improved the performance level when the body is awake and active.
- Now is the time for a new regime – If your body is not getting enough sleep, it will increase your stress level. You may feel irritated, cranky or sluggish and tired throughout the day. You may find yourself awake at odd hours in the night or wake up multiple times. If you are already noticing these symptoms, we suggest you shut down all your electronics and work on a regime. Keep your sleep cycle in focus; go to bed as soon as you begin to feel tired and wake up without an alarm. In the beginning, you will sleep longer than the standard 6-8 hours but, it will come back to its natural duration in a few days.
- The bedroom is not an office – When you are working from home, try not to sit in the room where you sleep. The lounge area is ideally the best place to work. Electronic devices emit strong artificial light which greatly influences our sleeping pattern. The bedroom should be cozy, dark and free from too much light. If you still work in your bedroom, make sure that your gadgets are on the night-mode.
- No coffee after noon – Caffeine has helped a lot of us pull a successful all-nighter. We all know that it plays with our sleeping pattern and helps us stay awake. However, now is the time to limit the number of cups and not consume anymore afternoon. Following this will be very beneficial for regulating the sleep cycle.
- Sunlight exposure – As we mentioned earlier, our sleeping cycle is set by our body’s exposure to light. Light controls the day-night mode in our body. Artificial light does not have the same effect as natural light.You can begin by heading straight out to your balcony or garden or taking a walk in your neighborhood as soon as you wake up. Spend 30-45 minutes in direct sunlight. Avoid wearing sunglasses. You can apply sunscreen if your skin gets irritated easily. This is also known as morning therapy. Studies have shown that this process cures sleepless nights and disturbed sleeping patterns. The change in your sleep and daily routine will be significantly visible.
This is a tough and testing time for all of us. The news and statistics can easily stir up tension. Our sleeping pattern plays a vital role in helping us relax our mind and feeling positive. This is why it is important to put aside any and everything that is stressing us and give our body the sleep it deserves. Leave your gadgets and turn around, it’s your bed calling!