Coronavirus (COVID-19): Updates and Resources
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Dr. Rasmus shares advice on how to maintain good sleep habits during the pandemic

26th March, 2020 | Published by Saltzer Health

With all the stress and chaos created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to get a good night’s rest.

In an interview for the KTVB Medical Minute, Dr. Mark Rasmus talks about the importance of physical activity, turning off electronic devices and benefits of meditation. Dr. Rasmus is the medical director of the Saltzer Health sleep medicine clinic.

First, he urges people to stay engaged and active during the day. “You can still get outside and go for a walk around the block,” he said.

Dr. Rasmus also recommends having a consistent wake time, limiting daytime napping, and minimizing blue-wave light exposure in the evening.

“Sleep deprivation certainly affects your immune system, so making sure you get your 7 ½ or 8 hours a night of sleep is particularly important during the pandemic,” he said. “My recommendation is to shut off all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime. That gives you a chance to work on something else to slow down your thoughts.”

There are other therapies available to transition from being awake to asleep. He suggests reading a paper book without blue-wave light exposure, using progressive muscle relaxation and meditation.

“Meditation is a tool that has been used for thousands of years,” said Dr. Rasmus. “There are many different forms of meditation. It’s another great way to slow down the mind and drift off to sleep naturally.”

Dr. Rasmus also talked about the importance of physical distancing, repeated hand washing, and wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Keeping your nose and face covered has been shown to decrease and minimize the spread of the coronavirus,” he said.