Getting better sleep amid coronavirus concerns and anxiety

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- With growing concerns and worries about the coronavirus, people are having uneasy nights and unable to sleep.

UW Health psychologist Dr. Shilagh Mirgain says getting adequate sleep is one of the best things we can all do right now to keep our immune system strong.

She says when we are sleep deprived, it leaves us vulnerable during stressful times and people are more quick to making rash decisions, find it difficult to focus, have increased anxiety and engage in poor coping practices.

Here are her tips for better sleep:

  • Start by creating a consistent sleep routine
  • Create a relaxing pre-sleep ritual. Try to avoid stimulating activities before bed
  • Create a bedroom sanctuary by keeping it dark and cool
  • Avoid exposure to bright light and electronics an hour before bed
  • Do not take your worries to bed

Dr. Mirgain suggests doing a few minutes of journaling to get your to-do list, concerns, worries or thoughts out of your head and onto paper to make better sense of your experience which will help to clear your mind.

If you still can’t sleep for more than 20 minutes, get out of bed, do something relaxing until you are tired and then go back to to bed. She says you will be more likely to fall asleep.