(WFSB) -- Doctors say getting a good night’s rest is critical to your health.

“It’s a cornerstone of a healthy and happy life. It’s as important as exercise and eating right,” said sleep expert Dana Obleman.

She adds that getting a good night’s rest needs to be a priority.

However, many have struggled to sleep during the pandemic, which some sleep experts are calling “coronasomnia.”

“Peoples’ stress level obviously is very high, worrying about their jobs, their family, their health. I also think people’s schedules and routines are a little out of whack,” she explained.

So, Obleman said people should re-establish a routine, which begins with shutting off your devices, the TV, and your phone.

“Melantonin needs to build during those evening hours so you need to give yourself, at least an hour before bed, where you power down. And you do other things like take a bath or shower, or read a book or listen to a podcast,” she said.

Recent reports show more than half of people are struggling with sleep.

There has also been a 20 percent increase in sleep medication being used.

Obleman says creating a sleep sanctuary can get your mind and body ready to rest.

“Make sure you don’t do anything in bed besides sleep. Don’t work in bed or watch tv in bed or you don’t want to do these kinds of activities. What you want to do is send a message to your brain and body that when you go to bed that’s for sleep,” Obleman said.

Also, keep your room cool and dark, and avoid alcohol. While it can help you doze off, it can interfere with a good night’s sleep.

“Then, around 3 in the morning when it wears off, then you’ll have this surge, usually it’s a cortisol spike of coming off the alcohol,” Obleman said.

She adds stick to the routine for about two weeks and you should start to feel a difference.

The sweet spot for most is seven-and-a-half to nine hours of sleep.

“I’m on the higher end of sleep needs. I get about 9 hours a night and I find that’s best for me,” Obleman said.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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