Sleep expert reveals how to get back on track after lockdown

·Lifestyle Reporter
·3-min read

Experiencing insomnia post-lockdown is affecting many people across Australia, and some of the biggest causes for an interrupted sleep is stress and anxiety.

As sleep is crucial for overall mental and physical health, it’s important to understand how to ensure you get a good night’s rest.

Woman sleeping. Source: Getty Images
A good night's sleep is crucial for mental and physical health. Source: Getty Images

Anxiety Post Lockdown

"Anxiety is the self-reported leading cause of sleeplessness, and there are a lot of external pressures at play that are causing people to feel this way," sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Lack of physical activity, lower levels of intimacy and connection, and an increase of media and news were all factors faced during lockdown that have contributed to anxiety.

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"Further to that, we are finding ourselves far more reliant on tech, and have fewer barriers to using it in the evening," Olivia adds.

With more time spent at home than ever throughout lockdown, there has also been a significant increase of blue light, transmitted through our phones, laptops, tvs and zoom calls with friends and family.

If you aren’t blocking it out or giving your brain time to unwind, it spells disaster for your sleep routine and overall wellness.

Woman texting and reading on smartphone in bed in midnight. Source: Getty Images
Try to block out blue lights up to 2 hours before your bed time. Source: Getty Images

Here, Olivia Arezzolo shares some tips for creating a bedtime routine that will help you sleep through the night:

Minimise blue light

"Block out blue light at least 2 hours before bed via your phones and electronics. An academic paper found regular room light from dusk to dawn suppressed melatonin by 71 per cent. Less melatonin means you find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep."

Herbal remedies

"Take lavender capsules or use lavender aromatics. A clinical trial found lavender improved sleep quality by 45 per cent, and reduced anxiety by up to 59 per cent."

Set a sleep time

"Have a ‘goodnight phone alarm’ set for 60 minutes before bed, reminding you to disconnect from all tech, stop the scrolling (we’re all guilty of it) and truly unwind."

Evening shower

"Have a shower and practice a nightly skincare routine. The drop in core body temperature as you emerge from a steamy shower into a cooler bathroom is cue for melatonin synthesis."

Woman applying skincare products in the mirror. Source: Getty Images
Induce a sense of calm and luxury with your night time skin routine. Source: Getty Images

Prep your skin

"Skincare practice is important here too; it signifies us making self-care a priority, and ensuring the health of our body, mind and soul. I've been using Edible Beauty’s new Sleeping Beauty Bundle which includes their overnight purifying mousse mask, plus a rose quartz crystal sleeping mask. Perfect for inducing a sense of calm and luxury, so find what works for you."

Take magnesium

"Have a magnesium-based sleep supplement to relax your mind and body ahead of falling asleep. A clinical trial found magnesium could also reduce anxiety by up to 31 per cent."

Relax with a book

"Read a book (a physical one - not on your phone!) A study by University of Sussex found reading could reduce stress by 68 per cent, and the anti-anxiety effects eventuated in just 6 minutes."

Woman reading book in bed. Source: Getty Images
Studies show that reading a book can reduces stress by up to 68 per cent. Source: Getty Images

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