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The COVID-19 pandemic brought a ton of challenges, but one of the biggest was insomnia.

According to a recent study, 1 in 4 people admitted that they were having significant issues with sleeping at night, and Google searches for “insomnia” sky-rocketed over the past year, with the majority of the traffic coming in at 3am. And while we are now finally starting to return to normalcy, our world is still adjusting to the repercussions that the pandemic has caused.

How did COVID-19 affect our sleep schedules?

Social isolation, stressing about finances, and worrying about sickness are all factors that will heavily affect your sleeping routine. And unfortunately for the working world, we kind of need sleep in order to do anything of use. Research shows that it takes our bodies four full days to recover from an hour of lost sleep. If your sleeping routine has been a consistent issue of late, those hours have really stacked up for you by now.

How can I get my sleep schedule back on track?

If you’re an employee that’s looking to get your sleep schedule back on track and kick your productivity into high gear, we put a list of helpful tips together.

  1. Controlled breathing techniques. A series of slow, deep breaths can significantly decrease stress in the nervous system, so this is one of the more productive ways of putting your mind at ease. It also gets your brain ready for rest by reducing excitatory stimulus. Click here if you need some exercises to choose from.

  2. Meditate. A 20-minute meditation routine can be a real game changer for healthy sleep patterns. Meditation practices being in the present moment and blocking out negative energies. While it may be difficult at first for some people, consistent practice and patience with yourself will help you improve in a short amount of time. If you don’t feel comfortable doing meditations by yourself yet, try some guided meditations to help you focus quicker.

  3. Avoid caffeine after 2pm. Putting a time limit on your caffeine intake is a necessity for healthy sleep. Caffeine stays in your body for 6 hours after consumption, so you have to give that cup of coffee or that energy drink some time before you go back for seconds.

  4. Increase light exposure during the day. Natural sunshine keeps your circadian rhythm healthy. This’ll help you improve the amount of energy that you have during the day, as well as the quality and duration of your sleep. According to this study, natural light exposure can improve your quality of sleep by 83 percent, so make this tip a priority.

  5. Reduce blue light exposure at night. While light exposure during the day is healthy for your circadian rhythm, nighttime light exposure is unhealthy, because it tricks your circadian rhythm into thinking that it’s really daytime. The longer you spend on your phone or computer at night, the more you’re hurting your sleep schedule.

We hope this helps you get back on track!

Carter Recruiting and Associates is one of the largest independent recruiting and outplacement companies in Arkansas. Our headquarters, located in Little Rock and our satellite office in Conway, both service accounts nationwide. We have satisfied clients and references from some of the largest companies in the state. With over 50 collective years of experience in the recruiting business, we have a vast amount of resources and knowledge to ensure a job well done.

Cherie Richardson

Cherie Richardson

Cherie is the owner and president of Carter Recruiting and Associates. She holds a BA in psychology from the University of Mississippi and has over 30 years of experience in the recruitment of executive and manufacturing professionals. Cherie’s work has been instrumental for new plant start-ups, as well as building and maintaining relationships throughout the region and state of Arkansas. She is a member of the National Association of Female Executives and the National Association of Women Business Owners.