Got lockdown insomnia? Uni of Herts lecturer gives advice

Psychologist and and author Richard Wiseman. Picture: Brian Fischbacher.

Psychologist and and author Richard Wiseman. Picture: Brian Fischbacher. - Credit: Brian Fischbacher.

Advice on how to reduce your lockdown insomnia has been given by a lecturer at Hatfield-based University of Hertfordshire.

Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist, explains that restless sleepers should avoid blue light from electronic devices and alcohol nightcaps, distract yourself while in bed, make a list, try conter-intuively to stay awake and use relaxing music.

And if lying awake makes you feel anxious, the psychologist has said, then this anxiety disrupts their sleep even more, creating a vicious cycle.

“If you are struggling to sleep, remember that you are probably getting more sleep than you think (research shows that we all underestimate how much of the night we spend sleeping) and that just relaxing in bed is good for you.”

He has also created music with the composer Cameron Watt that uses scientific principles to create a very relaxing piece of music.

As lockdown eases though, he has said collective responsibility could help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Dr Wiseman said: “The next few weeks are going to be fascinating from a psychological perspective. As the lockdown in the UK eases, it’s going to be more important than ever for us all to develop a collective sense of responsibility. We all have a role to play, so everyone should be mindful about how they can do their bit to help.

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“There’s lots of information out there about how the virus can spread if you get too close to someone who’s infected or touch something that they’ve touched. Everyone should listen to the scientific guidance, figure out the risks associated with certain behaviours and then decide whether they are willing to take those risks, both for themselves and those around them.

“People are very good at adapting to new situations, and we’ve already seen big changes in behaviour and society. We’ve already seen people being remarkably kind and considerate towards one another, and I’m optimistic about the future. All we need to do is remember one simple mantra – this won’t fail because of me.”

He is also behind a coronavirus-themed video game, created by developer Martin Jacob, called ‘Can You Save The World?’ which challenges players to walk down a busy street and keep safe by distancing from pedestrians, cyclists and people sneezing.

It’s available here