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Mind and Matter

Clarity . Connection . Comfort

Get the Sleep You Need Now!

The pandemic has disrupted many areas of our lives over the last year and those disruptions persist as many of us continue to work remotely or in a hybrid fashion. Interruptions to our daily routines, working longer or irregular hours, and having unclear boundaries between work and home have created environments filled with worry, anxiety, and fear. Consequently, many Americans now suffer from insomnia (or COVID-Somnia as neurologists who specialize in treating insomnia have coined it). While insomnia in adults was a problem before the pandemic, COVID-19 and its repercussions have exacerbated its occurrence.

Here are 10 suggestions on how to improve your chances of getting a good night sleep tonight:

  • Make sure to have exposure to bright sunlight in the morning to cue your circadian clock’s rhythm and avoid blue light from your electronics close to bedtime. Disconnect at least 30 to 60 minutes before going to sleep.
  • Establish a daily routine. Go to bed at the same time every night. Your brain will thank you.
  • Dim the lights in your home an hour before bedtime.
  • Do not work on your laptop in bed as your brain begins to create a maladaptive association between work and sleep.
  • Limit your news consumption or anxiety-producing programming at bedtime.
  • Avoid getting into a heated discussion with your partner or family close to bedtime.
  • Do not use your phone as an alarm clock. The blue light stimulates the circadian clock and delays sleep.
  • Turn the clock on your nightstand around so that you avoid worry about not sleeping.
  • Engage in a relaxation exercise such as deep breathing techniques or progressive muscle relaxation. Try a sleep meditation.
  • Journal - Write about three good things that happened to you today or any other gratitude practice to train your brain to look for the positive in your life. 

If your insomnia persists, consider speaking with your primary care physician as insomnia may be related to a physical condition. Otherwise contemplate contacting a mental health professional who specializes in CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) who can work with you on sleep training, relaxation techniques, modifying fears and worries about the inability to sleep, etc. Individuals who have persistent insomnia often have developed misconceptions and behavioral patterns that may respond well to treatment with these types of providers. Contact the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 305-284-6604 for a confidential consultation.


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