Pandemic Winter Health Hacks

Can’t Sleep? Get Curious About Why

The value of trying something new

Part of me hesitates to focus this column on tips for better sleep since there’s so much fatigue around the topic (bad pun intended). But the other part of me knows full well that sleep is of the utmost importance, plenty of us struggle with it, and let’s be real: Pandemic sleep can be tough to come by.

If exhaustion has you in its grip and you’re hungry for all the tips, tricks, and science you can find on sleep, Elemental has you covered. Are your partner’s snores or twitches too much to handle? Consider a sleep divorce. Waking up at the same time every night bound up in your pajamas? It might be time to sleep naked. Convinced you can only downshift to rest after a Netflix binge? Breathing yourself to sleep is also an option.

Though I’m certainly a believer in sleep hygiene (soft lighting, gentle scent, and relaxed body all high on my list), I also don’t think nightfall should conjure another to-do list. But I do know there’s excellent value to be found in getting curious about what’s not working for you (if sleep is an ongoing challenge) and trying out a remedy that you haven’t yet explored. There are cures aplenty out there — my advice (before you try one) is to first identify which habits you’ve grown accustomed to that might be nudging genuine rest out of reach.

Illustration: Sophi Gullbrants

Senior Platform Editor, Elemental. I write and edit stories about health, science, well-being, and behavior.

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