Do you feel like your sleep quality or quantity has been off since the start of the pandemic? If so, you’re not alone. A growing body of evidence has found that many of us across the globe are experiencing uncharacteristic sleep disruptions.
While some doze throughout the day and night, others are having difficulty falling asleep at all. This has a devastating impact on mood, focus, memory and your immune system, but can also increase your risk for chronic health problems like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease and depression.
Below are some of the ways the pandemic may be messing up your sleep and how to remedy it.
Stress & Anxiety
Anxiety about getting sick, fear of losing your job and uncertainty about the future are major factors that can contribute to insomnia. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report from July of this year, 53% of American adults reported stress and worry related to the coronavirus having a negative impact on their mental health, and 36% reported trouble sleeping.
“The mother of insomnia is stress,” explained Michael Perlis, director of the behavioral sleep medicine program and associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep three or more nights a week. Under normal circumstances, this condition affects about 10-14% of adults; however, sleep specialists report seeing an uptick in people struggling with sleeplessness.
“At the end of the day, we’re likely to see a lot more insomnia because there are a lot of people whose quality of life and way of life is fundamentally threatened,” Perlis added.
How to Overcome Stress and Sleep Better
Don’t ignore your stress and anxiety; address it head-on. It’s important to talk to your loved ones about your worries, as they likely can relate and help you work through them. If this is not an option for you, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has also been shown to be highly beneficial; there is even a sub-specialty (CBT-I) to help with insomnia.
It’s also important to remember to take care of your body. Eat balanced meals, stay hydrated and get regular exercise. While it can be difficult to stay in a routine right now, it is essential for your mental and physical health.
You should also be careful not to consume too much news. While it’s important to stay informed, especially when it comes to updated health guidelines, obsessing over world events will certainly not help reduce your stress.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Arizona Desert ENT Specialists today.
Learn More About Sleep Health
- A New Reason to Spend Less Time on Your Cellphone: Head & Neck Injuries on the Rise
- More ZZZs, Please! Snoring Treatments to Ensure a Good Night’s Sleep