Insomnia expert offers useful tips for troubled sleeping in lockdown
The only thing worse than waking up to more bad news is not falling asleep at all. For those who are having difficulty sleeping while under lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic, insomnia expert Dr. Les Gellis offers eight tips to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Dr. Gellis is an associate teaching professor in the Psychology Department at Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Gellis' research focuses on cognitive and behavioral elements that contribute to stress, insomnia, and other sleep disorders. He is currently testing and designing techniques to treat insomnia and understand the causes and consequences of sleep problems in college students.
Dr. Gellis is available for an interview to discuss his sleeping tips. For use in your stories, here are his eight tips to help you get a good night's sleep during this stressful time:
General Lifestyle Behaviors
- Stay away from the bedroom when not sleeping and leave the bed when you're unable to fall asleep and or feel frustrated about the inability to sleep.
- Maintain a dark environment and avoid electronic devices before bedtime.
- Limit napping and caffeine intake.
- Avoid watching the clock.
How to Handle Sleep-Related Worry/Other Worry
- Attempt to refocus pre-sleep thoughts to emotionally neutral thought processes (away from worry, problem solving, planning, rehashing).
- Actively problem-solve during the day to deal with current stressors.
- Avoid worrying about your sleep. Sleep is a biological need that will happen naturally when we're in a calm state.
- See a professional if general tips do not work and be wary of pharmacologic management of sleep problems.