Local doctor says to maintain a good sleep schedule during stay at home order

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Are you finding yourself tossing and turning at night or sleeping at unusual times since you started working from home? While we all try to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the stay-at-home order is throwing off most of our daily routines, and consequently our sleep patterns. A local sleep specialist explained how this affects our bodies, and what we can do about it. 

The stay at home order is meant to flatten the curve,  but quarantine has many of us losing sleep. 

Gary Winthorp is a sophomore in high school.

“I’m not going outside as much and doing stuff, so it’s harder to sleep at night and I stay up longer,” said Winthorp.

Local kids have not gone to school in three weeks, and the major disruption in routine is doing a number on their sleep schedule. 

Chank Williams, also a high school sophomore, said, “I just tend to stay up a lot later and wake up a lot later in the day.”

Even adults working from home, away from their normal routine, are having a hard time getting the proper amount of quality sleep. Beckley Sleep Specialist, Dr. Cuffy York, said maintaining a sleep schedule is important for your overall health, specifically, your immune system. 

“Once you get disrupted on your sleep patterns, you change how you sleep. Sleep is the time our body restores itself, that’s when those proteins, the cytokines, the lymphocytes and the T Cells are released, during sleep,” said York.

Sleep helps our immune system fight off bacteria, infections, and viruses on a cellular level. 

York said taking a melatonin supplement before bed can help achieve a more restful sleep. He said people should try to establish some sort of routine during the stay at home order that involves going to sleep and waking up at roughly the same time every day. 

“People who work swing shifts have a very bad sleep pattern, they tend to be irritable or gain weight because they’re not on the same pattern all the time, so stick with a pattern even when you’re working from home,” York said.

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