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Sleep is very important for normal functioning Pixabay

This year has been tough on everyone in many ways. Everything from pubic health and personal finances have felt the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and turbulent world politics. And, according to a recent survey, those worries have extended to the bedroom.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Hatch, the survey asked 2,000 Americans on the quality of sleep they have gotten this year. Alarmingly, over half said 2020 has been one of the worst years for them in terms of sleep, with 42% even saying that they could not remember the last time they had a good shut eye.

Thirty four percent of the respondents believed that the reason for their lack of stress was consuming too much news while 22% think it's being locked in with family during quarantine. Zoom calls and work from home burnout (both at 16%) and Netflix binges (13%) are some of the other reasons specified in the survey.

No one should be taking this news lightly as the many adverse effects of lacking quality sleep has been widely publicized. It can affect your memory, focus and productivity, and can make you crave unhealthy food. Some studies also say that sleep deprivation has the same effect as being drunk, which, as you can imagine, poses a big security and safety risk.

If you want to improve your sleep health for the rest of 2020, here are five quick changes you can do:

Sleep and health
Sleep benefits physical and mental health Pixabay

1. Surround yourself with comfort

Your mattresses and pillows matter as getting to a relaxed state is about comfort. We suggest checking out weighted blankets, which are heavier and may provide a calming effect as you sleep. Try the ones from Weighted Evolution, which have small pockets with evenly distributed weight, warm insulation and high-quality soft fabrics.

Weighted Balnket
Try a weighted blanket to sleep faster Weighted Evolution

2. Control what you hear, see and feel

A dark, quiet and cool room can help you achieve sound sleep. Dark places make your body feel it is time to get some shuteye and help your muscles relax. Use thick curtains that block all the light entering your room or wear an eye mask. Also try to reduce the amount of jarring noises coming in by closing windows, using earplugs or playing more pleasant sounds. Mind the temperature as well because studies show a cool environment helps.

Sleep well
We have tips to help you sleep better Pixabay

3. Stay away from clocks

Gazing at the clock in your bedroom, whether you are just tucking yourself into bed or after waking up in the middle of the night, can raise your stress levels, making it harder to fall asleep. A good practice is to turn all clock faces away from you or not have them in your room altogether. You can use the alarm in your smartphone and keep it on a table far from reach.

clock bed
Put clocks away when it's time to sleep. Photo by Benjamin Voros @vorosbenisop on Unsplash

4. Do something restful when you wake abruptly

If you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot fall asleep in less than 20 minutes, try doing something calming such as listening to some light music or reading a book. Make sure your lights are dim so you don’t fully wake up this time. As soon as your eyelids droop, return to bed.

Reading Can Help Sleep
Make sure your lights are not too bright, though Pixabay

5. Keep dinner light and manage your water intake

Eating a heavy meal after 8 p.m. may not be the best thing to do if you are finding it hard to sleep. Go for food that is rich on Tryptophan, which is an amino acid that is essential for the production of key sleep hormone serotonin. Tryptophan rich foods include chicken, cheese, fish, turkey, pumpkin and milk. Similarly, make sure you get enough water so you won’t wake up thirsty in the middle of the night. But don’t drink too much that you will have to constantly use the toilet.