The importance of sleep during coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 1:53 PM, Apr 27, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to keep streets and the economy at a standstill, navigating through a new normal may actually prevent you from getting much needed shut eye.

A New York child and adult psychiatrist, Judith Joseph says sleep is vital to keeping our immune system in check especially while in quarantine.

There are simple things you can do to help regulate how much rest you get at night. It begins with vitamin D.

"I’m encouraging my patients to wake up earlier to get natural light even on a cloudy or rainy days," Dr. Joseph said. "You can still get exposure to sunlight just by standing by and opening a window or having your blinds open."

She says taking naps during the day can disrupt your sleep.

The natural sunlight helps to reset the body's inner clock through a hormone called melatonin.

The sun's rays suppresses the melatonin during the day, and naturally increases at night time to help you sleep.

Dr. Joseph recommends chamomile tea for a calming effect. Foods like almonds, walnuts, salmon, and cherries help boost chemicals in your body that help you sleep.

Also, get moving.

Daily physical activities and getting fresh air are crucial for Elena Duque and her family. She’s mom to seven-year-old Emalee and four-year-old Lily.

Her daughter, Emalee has ADHD and often wakes during the night.

The lack of sleep has affected the entire family.

Natural remedies like lavender and epsom salt during nighttime baths help ease her anxiety.

She also credits yoga, meditation and outdoor activities for managing her family's sleep routine.

If you follow these steps and still have problems managing sleep, call your doctor.

WPIX's Stacy-Ann Gooden first reported this story.