There have been a lot of articles about people having vivid dreams and nightmares lately. Most experts'are blaming it on stress from coronavirus COVID-19 overload and there may be something to that.

I know that we all dream, but I very seldom remember them. I do remember last night's dream, though. I suppose you could call it a nightmare. In my dream my favorite pair of cowboy boots, a pair of kangaroo hide boots that I got way back in the day at the Nocona outlet store in Burkburnett, had completely fallen apart and I was searching the western wear stores for something new. If you've ever tried to find a pair of boots that fit your style and your foot just right you know how difficult that can be.

The odd part is, I haven't worn that pair of boots in ages and I have several others that I can grab any time I need to.

If you've been having strange dreams lately, it probably has to do with the current state of world events causing stress and your mind trying to sort it all out while you sleep. The New York Post recently published a story with some helpful tips on getting a better night's sleep and they're the same things we've been told for years.

To start with, do your best to structure your day. A lot of us are working from home, or not working at all, and simply having a fixed schedule of things to accomplish during the day will help us get back into a maintainable rhythm of life. Part of structuring our day also includes keeping your work and home activities separate. Just like you'd clock in at the job site or office and settle down to focusing on work related things, do that as much as you can at home. That can be really hard to do with kids around, but the more structure you can add to their day the better they'll do during the shelter in place order, too.

Another sleep tip that we've heard for years is to unplug from technology at least an hour before going to bed. That's really hard to do with laptops, phones, TV sets in every room. The idea is that the blue light from the screens messes up our melatonin levels and prevents the body from drifting off into a deep sleep as quickly as it should. One option for getting away from technology in that last hour of the day would be to read a magazine or even a book. Reading a book has the added benefit of most likely having a story line that has absolutely nothing to do with the current events that are stressing us all out.

And possibly the best tip of all, stay away from "doomscrolling" just before bed! It's a new term for endlessly scrolling through our social media and news sites reading about all of the horrible things going on in the world. We do need to stay aware of what's happening around us, but anything you read the last thirty minutes before lights out will probably still be there when you get up the next morning.

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I think I'll put these ideas to work and spend a little more time reading those books I have stacked up beside my bed.

Stay safe, stay home as much as you can, stay Falls Strong.