Staying healthy includes sleeping seven to eight hours each night, without interruption from digital devices, explains Rachel V.F. Rohaidy, M.D., a Baptist Health psychiatrist, who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental, addictive, and emotional disorders.
Dr. Rohaidy, who was featured in a new Baptist HealthTalk podcast, emphasized that daily “marathons” of news about COVID-19 should not be given as much attention and that sleep hygiene habits should be adopted.
“Sleep hygiene is actually a series of behaviors and therefore we want our sleeping hours and bedrooms to be a ‘sanctuary’ – with all televisions and electronic devices turned off,” she tells Podcast host Jonathan Fialkow. , MD, Assistant Medical Director, Chief Cardiology and Certified Lipidologist at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute. You can find the Baptist HealthTalk podcast from your computer or smartphone using Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.
Below are excerpts from Dr. Rohaidy’s podcast questions and answers with Dr. Fialkow titled, Coping with the Coronavirus Pandemic:
“You have extensive experience treating people with various mental health problems, from depression and anxiety to other disorders. But I think it is fair to say that this is a hyper pronounced moment. You are probably seeing a higher volume. What do you expect to see in the coming weeks and in the coming months? ”
“We are seeing much more anxiety, stress, exasperation and depression. Right now we are flooded with so much information. And many of the things that are emerging for patients with new and established diagnoses – these chronic diagnoses are now getting worse. There is a lot of misinformation being spread. People go online or hear rumors – and that’s a very bad thing. But lack of information also has a negative power – not listening to anything. So I think that people should find the right resources to get their information – be it on legitimate news channels or by other means.
“Constant news coverage has been proven to have significant effects on mental health … we all need to turn off the news an hour or two before we go to bed …”
“The most important thing for me as a psychiatrist is sleep and I try to impart good sleep hygiene to all my patients. If we do not sleep well at night we will have a lot of anxiety and a lot of stress… So turn off the news, turn off cell phones, turn off everything – several hours before going to bed… absolutely ”.
“What should people think when they begin to hear information? What can you do to prevent this information from causing a panic or anxiety reaction?
“Many of us work from our homes. We have cell phones. We have tablets and computers and we are awash with information. So that’s why I want people to stop, take a deep breath and say, Do I really need 12 hours of information? Do I need this constant stimulation? Why not say that you will listen to the news for about 15 minutes and only listen to news from a reputable source? We have to cut down on those 12-hour marathons of information. ”