Have you been experiencing varying levels of exhaustion or sleep depravation in lockdown? Well, you’re definitely not alone. We asked our Relationship Expert, Alina Rose why we’re all feeling so damn tired all the time, despite having minimal social engagements and barely leaving the house.
Why can being in lockdown make us feel more tired than usual?
Being in lockdown can make us feel more tired than usual for a number of reasons.
First of all, we’re spending more time indoors, with central heating and blue light from our screens sapping our energy. Contrast this to more time we would usually spend outdoors, dining in courtyards in pubs, playing frisbee with the family and picnicking. Overall, we’re getting less life-affirming vitamin D from sunshine. And when we are outdoors, we are often masked, further lowering our oxygen intake.
Another reason is… stress. Sleep problems are as much about emotional wellness and creating a calm inner space, rather than purely physiological. This is because when we are worried about things, we have “mental open tabs” running… which creates the stress hormone cortisol as we try to ‘work things out’ in our heads. That means our mental computer can’t shut down and we can’t sleep until everything is ’sorted’ or at least ‘filed for later’.
Even with sitting around more working from home, lots of people are struggling to get to sleep at night – why is this?
Cortisol spikes when we’re looking to ’survive’ – which is stimulating us at night, as we’re worried about the future of ourselves and the planet. Also, a few glasses of wine or your favourite tipple stimulate the system as your body is trying to rid itself of toxins. Sad but true!
Even if you do get a ‘full night’ of sleep in lockdown, many people still complain they feel tired the next day – are we getting poorer quality sleep?
Less movement, less oxygen and less fresh air from stay-home orders leads to fatigue – mixed with the stress of a constant news cycle: dire headlines and press conferences, sad stories on social media. This creates a physiological deficit of ‘life force’ (we are not getting the oxygenated blood we need from an outdoors lifestyle), as well as low serotonin production, because we feel more hopeless and uncertain about the future.
Many people who aren’t in locked down cities like Melbourne/Sydney are also reporting poorer sleep at the moment. Is the current coronavirus situation in other states impacting their sleep?
That may well be. Our cells remember the past, so a lockdown in one place of Australia can signal to our bodies a similar looming threat. Our bodies chemically react in anticipation – and the end result is malaise, worry and… cortisol.
What are some tips to get our sleep patterns back on track in lockdown?
Optimum wellness and spiritual care will get us through this! When we can’t control the external circumstances, we CAN regulate our internal bio-chemical mechanisms, which will help us sleep better and offer overall well-being.
- Switch off the news. A news report on TV, with its music and lights and sound is addictive! Think about it as a produced show! Get your news once a day, from one source you trust, and turn off the rest. Research even says making your phone screen black and white (in Settings), rather than the usual colour, reduces distractions and stimuli by up to 80%.
- Nature bathe as much as you can! This means a walk in the park or the beach, barefoot for your hourly walk, rather than the home gym. Nature is amazing at calming our minds and providing a wider perspective on life. Let the light and the outdoors into your home as much a possible with plants and open windows.
- Connect with our elderly community for perspective. Call your neighbour, grandparent or aunt. They have lived through times of great adversity and have great, inspired stories of resilience, survival and even thriving.
- Journal. Get your thoughts out. This is particularly helpful when you can’t sleep, as you can jot down your worries, ideas, thoughts – which lets your brain ‘close’ a tab. It works!
What are some other ways to wind down and switch off?
Anything creative that activates the right brain! During the day, we usually watch the same shows, cook similar meals, sit on our laptop, and play with the same apps. Switch it up! Play new music, read unusual new fiction, take a new route on your walk, and cook a meal from a different cuisine. This engages a sense of wonder and perspective, which gives us renewed hope. Hello, happy hormones – and wonderful sense of accomplishment and rest.
Alina is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a Certified Life & Executive Coach, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and PSYCH-K facilitator, she is also trained in sacred sexuality, behavioural sciences, communications and journalism.
Alina provides guidance and inspiration for women wishing to attract and maintain a passionate, equal and enduring romantic partnership through coaching, healing, keynote speaking, workshops, and group experiences. She is commended by Zoë Foster Blake for her “genuine, unwavering desire to learn (and impart) as much as she can to develop, improve and enlighten the lives and relationships of those who surround her.”
For partnership and media enquiries please get in touch.
Follow Alina on Instagram @iamalinarose.