Don Mordecai, MD, shares sleep strategies with U.S. News & World Report

To address sleep disturbances and anxiety related to COVID-19, Don Mordecai, MD, suggested in U.S. News & World Report that refocusing on daily and nightly habits — also known as sleep hygiene — is key to restoring healthy sleep.

Don Mordecai, MD

“Sleep is a big issue for a lot of people and certainly was even before the pandemic,” said Dr. Mordecai, psychiatrist with The Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Permanente’s national leader for mental health and wellness.

To rebuild better sleep habits, Dr. Mordecai recommended a number of daily and nightly routines, including developing a pre-bedtime ritual such as reading a book; wearing pajamas only at bedtime; creating a sleep-friendly environment that is cool, dark, and uncluttered; and reserving the bedroom for sleep and sex.

“Don’t use it to do your taxes and emails,” Dr. Mordecai said. “You’re essentially training your brain to think of your bed and your bedroom as this multipurpose place.”

Dr. Mordecai also recommended avoiding light-emitting screens at bedtime, because blue light, or any light, is not conducive to sleep.

“We know that light around the time of bedtime is really distracting for your brain,” Dr. Mordecai said. “It tells your brain basically to stay awake, that it’s still light outside. If you have to use the screen late at night, or you really like to read on the screen, try to use dark mode or really dim it down.”

Note: Read the full article at U.S. News & World Report.