(HEALTHCAST)— Whether it’s the fall out from the coronavirus pandemic, or the powerful emotions intertwined with the demonstrations for equality.

“I can’t breathe.”

“It’s really a double whammy.”

Doctor Brandy Roane, psychologist and sleep specialist at UNT Health Science Center said the problem isn’t necessarily anxiety keeping you up at night.

It’s the physiological response to fear.

Roane said it triggers the fight or flight part of our nervous system, and overrides the part of our nervous system that lowers our blood pressure and body temperature, as we prepare for sleep.

“It means that our body isn’t going to be doing the things that help promote sleep,” Roana said

But there are things that can help.

When turning off the television and social media doesn’t cut it, Roane suggests journaling before bed can help.
Call it a brain dump, or “parking your thoughts..” transferring your thoughts on paper.

“Which helps to reduce the amount of time you’re focusing on them, ruminating on them,” Roane said.

Turn your bedroom into a sleep environment, add an oscillating fan for white noise, or download a white noise app on your phone.

Blackout curtains, can also help.

Roane said whether you get 9 hours, or six hours of slumber, consistent bed times and wake up times can help your body and mind cope with current events

“Sleep is paramount to your physical and mental health. It helps with repairing you body physically ensuring your prepared to do the task you need cognitive tasks included. It also helps to protect against mental health conditions if you’re sleeping sufficiently,” Roane said.