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Dr Arif Maghribi Khan

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has rattled the entire world. Declared as a pandemic by World Health Organization, the sheer magnitude of this disease has spread a wave of melancholy and fear of unknown among the masses.

The levels of anxiety too have increased as have some stress related disorders. I have been getting many phone calls where people complain about increased sleep-related problems during this crisis. Here are some of the tips one can follow if he or she is not able to fall asleep quickly or doesn’t get enough sleep.

  • First things first, never torment yourself questioning what if today I do not get good sleep, instead think of joy and visualize getting good sleep.
  • Go to bed at a fixed time, even if you do not sleep instantly for the first week.
  • If you are unable to sleep even in your designated bedroom and you are staring at your ceiling for hours, caught in negative ideas, try to come out of this vicious cycle of sleeplessness by getting up and going to another room, stay there for 10 minutes, flip through a book and then come back to your bedroom.
  • Smoking before going to bed (or for that matter any time) is never good.
  • Do a simple breathing exercise before sleeping. Take slow deep breaths through nostrils and exhale through mouth.
  • Do not keep TV or Laptop in your bedroom, stop using your smartphone and other gadgets 30 minutes before going to sleep.

Besides these, here is one simple spiritual sleep-time exercise which can prove useful if done on a daily basis.

Try saying this to yourself in your heart: “After the fatigue of a long day I now prepare for the night. I invoke God for his protection and request Him to bless me. I experience love of God all around me. I am liberated from all thoughts of the past and future. And becoming very relaxed and light I drift away into a pleasant sleep.”

And lastly, very important. Never hesitate to call your nearest counsellor or psychiatrist if sleeping problems persist.

(Author can be mailed at [email protected])

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