A sleep expert has revealed the four biggest mistakes you’re making with your sleep in lockdown, and why you’re doing your daily routine wrong.
Olivia Arezzolo, from Sydney, said while it’s easy to fall into bad sleep habits in lockdown because you don’t need to get up as early, this can de-rail your entire day and mean you feel even more tired, downbeat and irritable than you would otherwise.
Olivia said the most important thing you can do for your sleep in these times is keep up your regular morning routine.
A sleep expert has revealed the four biggest mistakes you’re making with your sleep in lockdown, and why you’re doing your daily routine wrong (Olivia Arezzolo pictured)
The sleep expert (pictured) said if you’re used to leaving at 7.30am to get to work, you shouldn’t abandon this just because there is no longer a need to commute
‘If you’re used to getting up at 6, going to the gym, having a coffee with your partner, kids or the yoga girls, keep it up,’ Olivia said (stock image)
1. KEEP UP YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
The sleep expert said if you’re used to leaving at 7.30am to get to work, you shouldn’t abandon this just because there is no longer a need to commute.
‘You shouldn’t be rolling from bed to breakfast to desk,’ Olivia posted on Instagram.
‘If you’re used to getting up at 6, going to the gym, having a coffee with your partner, kids or the yoga girls, keep it up.
‘Just modify it: train outdoors or online, and put on a jacket and have that coffee outside, while you’re walking.’
Olivia said doing this will ensure your melatonin levels are lower in the morning, which helps to reduce any morning fatigue.
The second thing Olivia (pictured) said you’re doing wrong in lockdown is going to bed later, eating later and getting up later as a result
2. SLEEP, EAT AND WAKE AT YOUR USUAL TIMES
The second thing Olivia said you’re doing wrong in lockdown is going to bed later, eating later and getting up later as a result.
‘Last lockdown, many Australians took the opportunity to sleep more,’ Olivia said.
‘The Journal of Public Health Research found that the average sleep onset was delayed by 38 minutes, while the wake time was delayed 51 minutes during lockdown.
‘This also meant that eating times were likely to be later too, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.’
While this isn’t always a bad thing with meals like breakfast, late night eating is a major sleep saboteur:
‘A study by the University of Sydney found a high carb dinner like noodles, rice or pasta one hour before bed extended the time taken to fall asleep by 47 per cent,’ Olivia said.
This is compared to the time it would have taken if the exact same meal was eaten four hours before you go to bed.
You can combat this by keeping sleep, wake and eating times as normal, or even as early as possible.
3. HAVE A GOODNIGHT PHONE ALARM
We all know about the importance of having an alarm first thing in the morning, but having a goodnight phone alarm is also a great idea for your night-time routine.
‘A goodnight phone alarm is an alarm that pops up on your one one hour before bed labelled sleep better,’ Olivia said.
‘At this time, you should get off all your devices.’
Instead of browsing your phone and/or iPhone at this time, instead Olivia recommends you either meditate, journal, read, stretch or chat to your partner.
‘Once we are motivated to actually do another activity, getting off our devices becomes easy,’ she said.
Olivia (pictured) said you should never bottle up your emotions when in lockdown, and if you’re freaking out about your finances or job, you must tell a friend or trusted source
4. EXPRESS YOUR DISTRESS
Finally, it doesn’t do anyone any good to bottle up their emotions.
So, if you’re freaking out about your finances in lockdown, or struggling with your job or lack of an outlet, the sleep expert said you absolutely must speak up.
‘Share your anxieties, raise your fears and express your distress,’ Olivia said.
‘Write it in your journal, tell a close friend, call your mum, reach out to LifeLine or Beyond Blue.’
Olivia added that anxiety is one of the major causes of sleeplessness, so if you’re feeling stressed about COVID-19, discussing it is not only encouraged, it’s a non-negotiable.
‘Typically, once we voice our fears, we can move past them,’ she said.
‘You’ll feel better and sleep better too.’
To find out more about Olivia Arezzolo, you can visit her website here.