Sleep, despite the difficulties – celebrate a sleep week
14. Mar 2022
Sleep week at the Estonian Universities is a collaborative initiative by the psychologists working at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tartu University, Estonian Business School, TTK University of Applied Sciences and the mental health website Peaasi.ee (Head Matters). The main objective of the week is to promote sleep hygiene tips amongst the students and adults.
Why sleep during the stressful times?
A link has been found between sleep and stress that seems a vicious circle: good sleep helps to reduce stress, but especially in high-stress situations the sleep is disturbed, which in turn affects the well-being the next day. Anxiety and worry contribute to the quality of sleep. Additional anxiety may arise about the sleep itself.
So, paying attention to sleep hygiene is essential in these hectic times. Five tips can help you to improve your sleep this week:
Start each day with a positive attitude. Even if the sleep has been shallow, it is possible to start the day with good thoughts and routines. Negative thought patterns can occur automatically. Instead, try to reassure yourself, “Even though I slept a little, the day will be great nevertheless.” Or create a new habit, such as staying outdoors before getting to work and noticing the signs of spring.
Plan intentional breaks for the day. Energy level is not the same throughout the day. For low-energy moments it is worth creating opportunities for physical activity, even a few minutes of exercise or deep breathing exercises. Notice how it supports and refreshes you.
Create a habit that marks the end of the workday. Make a clear gesture that tells you, “The workday is over, it’s time to go and do other things.” It could be closing your work e-mails, taking a walk, etc.
Support your daily rhythm. The body likes a regular rhythm of the day, research says. Although the pace of life is often unpredictable and with busy schedules in many areas, it is worth trying to go to bed every day at 11 pm. Notice if it changes your daily rhythms?
Create more peaceful routines for your sleep. Both during the pandemic and war situations, studies show that in high stress, sleep is affected, accompanied by turbulent dreams. Assure yourself that this is a normal for these times, yet you can tune in to a good night’s sleep. You can try to avoid reading the news a hour before bedtime, it’s better to talk or think about positive things or read something interesting. Positive imagery exercises before going to bed could be used to promote pleasant dreams. It is worth writing down your thoughts in a notebook so that your mind is bright and ready to get refreshed during the sleep.
How to celebrate the sleep week?
Campaign was launched to find sleep songs and 12 authors shared 15 songs, which will be played in the evenings at 11 pm via Instagram Live (look for peaasi.ee). Many thanks to all the authors!
Test your sleep habits here (in Estonian).
On Instagram, emta_psychologist shares daily recommendations and research results to motivate you to make small changes in your sleep habits.
Read more here.
Contact: Elina Kivinukk, EAMT psychologist, firstname.lastname@example.org
The recommendations are based on materials from Healthier Sleep Magazine and Sleep On It Canada.