Sleep deprivation is an issue that is often overlooked. Around 35% of Malaysians are diagnosed with sleeping disorders, while over 53% of Malaysia’s workforce gets less sleep than the minimum seven hours due to work-related stress.
There’s a close relationship between sleep and mental wellbeing. Poor sleep can negatively affect our mental health and, on the flip side, living with a mental health problem can interfere with our sleep cycle.
With the ongoing pandemic, the term “coronasomnia” has surfaced as more people than ever are fighting a serious loss of sleep each night.
How Coronosomnia Affects Our Sleep and Mental Wellbeing
Coronasomnia is a very real and widespread phenomenon. Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, insomnia has always been a concern but it has now developed into something more than having sleepless nights.
This second pandemic of insomnia, that is coronasomnia, has led to broken routines, indoor fatigue and overall exhaustion with our movements restricted. These situations further elevate the stress over our current finances, work challenges, family matters, health fears and the struggle to transition back to sleep.
And as you get frustrated for not being able to sleep at night, you’ll worry if you have the focus and energy to get anything done the next day. This stress contributes to more sleeplessness, and the cycle continues. As you can see, coronasomnia is a vicious cycle involving both sleep deprivation and a serious compromise of our mental wellbeing.
Lack of Sleep Is Linked to Increased Risk of Covid-19
Disrupted sleep, insomnia and daily burnout are all linked to a higher risk of coronavirus infection. According to a study published in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health journal, it was found that healthcare workers who have every hour of extra sleep have lowered the risk of being infected with Covid-19 by 12%.
Moreover, psychoneuroimmunology Monika Haack from Harvard Medical School shared the same sentiment, whereby when we have an adequate amount of sleep, it will definitely help to prevent or fight any kind of infection.
A repetitive lack of sleep can reduce our bodies ability to produce antibodies, which are long-lasting proteins that the body makes in response to pathogens and vaccines. Thus, it’s important to get enough sleep to help our bodies to develop a better immune response to vaccines while reducing the risk of getting infected.
How to Get the Restful Sleep You Need?
Knowing how to sleep well is thankfully, not rocket science. Here are some simple yet powerful habits to rewire your brain for better sleep.
1. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol Before Bedtime
Each person has different sensitivities to caffeine and alcohol. People who consume caffeine more often might respond differently than those who don't regularly drink. But in general, you can have your favourite coffee brew or glass of wine eight hours before going to bed.
2. Set Boundaries on Electronic Usage
Smartphones and laptops emit blue light which signals your brains to stop producing melatonin. Sleeping with all sources of light switched off can increase melatonin production to regulate our sleep-wake cycles. Therefore, staring at a device screen before bed is a surefire way to prevent from having a full sleep cycle. A good rule of thumb is to switch off all devices one hour before bedtime.
3. Unwind With a Relaxing Pre-Sleep Ritual
Did you know sleep requires preparation? A pre-sleep ritual can be taking a nice warm bath, reading your favourite book or doing some stretching and breathing exercises. Pick one activity that is most relaxing to your body and mind. Your pre-bedtime routine should be between 30 to 60 minutes to give you enough time to unwind without feeling rushed.
4. Create a Structured Daytime Schedule
Have you ever felt that you’re running out of time each day? By using phone reminders to stay on track with priorities and leisure activities, your daytime schedule will be more organised. It may be hard at first, but with practice and patience, you’ll have a consistent sleep schedule in no time.
5. Take Up a New Hobby or Interest
Looking at what’s happening outside, there’s only so much you can control. Picking up a new hobby or interest will take your mind off things that normally keep you awake at night. For all you know, it may become a passion that you want to do for a living!
Looking for better mattress and pillows?
If you have a persistent sleeping problem, please seek medical help and sleep consultation from healthcare professionals.
#HelloWeCan: Supporting Mental Health With Better Sleep
In an exciting collaboration with Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC), Getha would like to spread the awareness of mental health and how important it is to sleep well for all Malaysians to have a restful mind in the midst of struggles and hardships.
Share a photo or video with encouraging, cheerful or inspirational messages on Instagram and TikTok with the hashtag #HelloWeCan.
The submission period is between 28 July 2021 and 31 August 2021. The chosen winner will receive up to RM3,000 worth of prizes!
For the video and photo category, the top 3 winners will receive Getha’s Genetics Latex Topper (Queen Size) and RM100 e-voucher. Meanwhile, the bonus prizes for the special categories are Getha’s Organic Cotton Latex Pillow and RM50 e-voucher. For more information on the terms and conditions, check out the contest details.
Spread the love and encouragement for all Malaysians in the face of adversity with your photo or video submission. Don’t miss this opportunity to motivate and inspire today!