Resilience Tip: Sleep & Resilience

Featuring Dr. Alyson VanAhn from Associated Clinic of Psychology

You are in good company if you have noticed changes in your sleeping patterns during COVID-19. Because of factors like extra screen time, change in routines and increase in stress, we are prone to poor sleep at this time. Sleep is important not only for our well-being and stability of mood, but it is also linked to immune system function.

In case good sleep is hard to come by for you like so many others, the list below provides some suggestions:

  • Add routines for bedtime, for wake time, for relaxation time prior to bed and for anything else. Loss of routines is an important link to our sleep and stress troubles.
  • Get as much exposure to natural light as you can. Time outdoors, opening shades, simply having the light touch your skin can improve sleep.
  • Exercise and remain active during the day as much as possible instead of taking naps.
  • Use your bed only for sleeping. If you have difficulty sleeping, get out of bed, do something calm and return in a few minutes to try again versus staying in bed and struggling.
  • Take “mini naps” during the day. They may be even more refreshing than longer rests and might be less impactful on night-time sleep. Even a 10-minute rest can help you rejuvenate a bit without jeopardizing evening sleep.

More suggestions detailed at If sleep is a consistent issue for you, or if difficulties persist for many days or weeks, it may be time to talk with your physician about other options for getting more good sleep.

For more information about stress relief during COVID-19, go to

At no charge, you can arrange virtual staff support groups through LeadingAge Minnesota Foundation’s COVID-19 Staff Coping & Support Line project. Contact Terri Foley at or 651-815-8137.

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