During an illness (such as Coronavirus (Covid-19)) it is common to sleep more as your body fights the infection. While you are recovering it is also common to find that your sleep patterns have been disturbed and you may struggle to get back into a good routine. Below are some hints which might help you get back into a better sleeping pattern.
• Ensure your bedroom is a comfortable temperature and dark (blackout blinds can help). If you can’t get to sleep within half an hour of going to bed, get up and relax in another room until you feel tired again.
• Get ready for bed at the same time each night taking time to relax later in the evening. Avoid screen time from phones or laptops for at least two hours before bed.
• Try to get up at roughly the same time every day.
• If you like a drink before bed, avoid caffeinated drinks, for example tea or coffee. Try not to snack or eat a large meal later in the evening.
• If you have worries, set time aside during the day to write these down and discuss with family and friends if you feel able.
• If you are feeling very tired during the day and are struggling to stay awake, a 30 minute ‘power nap’ can be helpful and shouldn’t affect your sleep at night as long as it’s not too late in the day.
• A ‘sleep diary’ can sometimes help you to work out what helps and what doesn’t help when trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Try to eat a healthy diet – this means plenty of fruit and vegetables. Try to limit the amount of sugary and processed foods you eat. Soups and smoothies are a good substitute if you do not feel like eating solid foods. Smaller, healthy snacks throughout the day can be easier if you struggle with bigger meals. Try to drink water during the day. Further advice can be found here:
Have a good balance between rest and activity and try and keep your mind occupied. Try and keep to a good routine including sleep, meals and enjoyable activities.
Spending time in nature has been found to have a positive impact on our well-being and can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Everyone will have different levels of access to green spaces but there are many ways to connect with nature:
• Exercise or go for a walk outdoors if it is safe to do so.
• Try some light gardening or growing plants indoors.
• Spend time sitting in your garden or by an open window in your home, taking time to notice the sights and sounds around you.
Relaxation and Mindfulness
A useful tool we can use to combat feelings of anxiety is relaxation. This is something that we can do while sitting or lying down, listening to peaceful music or just in peace and quiet. Relaxation is helpful because it helps us to slow down the systems in the body and relieve any aches or tension we may have and calm any worrying thoughts, you can find relaxation exercises in these links:
There is also an NHSGGC Mindfulness App. Search ‘GGC Mindfulness’ on the App store on your device.
Being unwell can have a significant impact on your mental health. Reach out to family and friends and speak with them on the phone if you are not able to see them face to face. If you feel you need more help with your mental health, advice is available HERE.
These links may also be helpful:
If you need to talk to someone:
• Contact your GP or call NHS 24 on 111
• The Samaritans
Telephone – 116123 for free 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
• Breathing Space -
Telephone - 0800 83 85 87
A confidential phone line for anyone in Scotland over the age of 16 who is feeling low, anxious or depressed
Returning to work
There is no ‘one size fits all’ path to recovery and your return to work will depend on how you are feeling, the type of job you do and the level of flexibility offered by your employer.
It is important that you work jointly with your employer to manage your return to work. Some people will require a phased return to work following recovery from coronavirus where you gradually build up your hours and days at work.
Where available, take advice from your Occupational Health department.
If you are self-employed, it is important to try and pace yourself, especially if you are fatigued. Try not to return to work too quickly following your illness.
When you return to work, you may find yourself feeling more tired. This is normal and during this time it is important that you try and pace yourself both at work and at home. Find more information HERE
Find more info on return to work below:
ALISS - A local information system for Scotland
This website can help you find information about foodbanks, money advice and homelessness support through local and national services.
Citizens Advice Scotland
Telephone: 0800 028 1456
There is a Citizens Advice Bureau in almost every community in Scotland. They offer free, confidential advice and information whoever you are and whatever your problem.
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