Diane May Nutrition Blog

Sleep During a Pandemic

May 2nd, 2020

Sleep is a critical aspect of health and wellness. When we sleep, our body repairs the damage caused by stress and environmental factors, it gives us energy and invigorates us for the day ahead, keeps us alert, helps with memory and most importantly, especially right now, helps to fight infection. When we do not get enough sleep, your immune system is weaker. Optimally, we need 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. With people’s schedules being off, nightmares and levels of stress and anxiety being high, sleep has become a mystery lately. So what are things you can do to improve your sleep hygiene?

  • Keep your routines. This may be the most critical right now. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Even if you may not have work or school, it is important for your body to have a consistent routine.
  • Try not to watch too much news and detox from TV, social media and phones for at least an hour before bed. Give your brain a chance to slow down.
  • Have a cut off time for fluids, approximately 3 hours before bed so that you do not have to wake frequently during the night. Even if you go right back to sleep, you are breaking a REM cycle. Limit caffeine and alcohol intake as they can impact sleep as well.
  • Make your room as dark as possible. Daylight savings brings light for longer hours. We get the deepest sleep in the darkest room possible. Cover electronics that may shine into the room.
  • Keep it cool. 60-67 degrees promotes optimal sleep.Take those socks off!
  • Avoid naps during the day, especially in the afternoon. This can interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night. If you really need a nap, make it no more than 20-30 minutes.
  • Get in daily exercise. This can help with quality sleep. Pay attention if afternoon exercise makes you “wired” as this would decrease your ability to sleep.
  • Try meditation before bed. Happify, Headspace, calm and 10% happier all make good Apps that can provide guided programs. You can also just focus on your breathing. Think to yourself-inhale and exhale.
  • Do not eat for at least 3 hours before bed. we do not want to be digesting while we are trying to sleep.
  • Consider Melatonin. This is not a supplement to use long term, but in the short term, can re adjust your cycle. I recommend 3-5 mg 90 minutes before bed.

These are difficult times, and sleep should not be overlooked, as it is so important to our overall health. Reach out if you really need help. Sometimes, just talking about whats on your mind can go along way to having a better nights sleep. If you are struggling, talk to your doctor or therapist about alternatives that may help get your sleep back on track. Sending love and prayers to those that need it right now.

Rating: 5 stars    

Eat this thick and creamy smoothie bowl with a spoon! Banana and frozen berries whip together with a little nut milk for a toppable vegan breakfast. We use fruit, nuts and seeds for topping, but feel free to experiment with whatever you like.

10 mins
10 mins
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine banana, berries and soymilk (or almond milk) in a blender. Blend until smooth.

  • Pour the smoothie into a bowl and top with pineapple, kiwi, almonds, coconut and chia seeds.

Nutrition Facts

338 calories; 9.6 g total fat; 3 g saturated fat; 46 mg sodium. 940 mg potassium; 64.3 g carbohydrates; 12.1 g fiber; 36 g sugar; 8.6 g protein; 393 IU vitamin a iu; 82 mg vitamin c; 60 mcg folate; 231 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 94 mg magnesium