- With the COVID-19 pandemic well underway, more and more people are suffering from sleep troubles.
- The term coined ‘coronasomnia’ is widespread and real.
- Quality, consistent sleep is essential to our health. Without it, our immune system, brain function, mental health and overall health will decline.
If you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest lately, trust us, you’re not the only one. Almost 10 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the pursuit of quality, consistent sleep — for many — is harder to reach these days.
COVID-19 has dramatically affected the world’s sleep patterns — but don’t worry. We’re here to help you understand why you may not be able to catch ZZZ’s and what you can do about it.
Why is sleep becoming harder to reach?
The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm earlier this year and as we enter into the new year of 2021, it seems we’re in it for the long haul. No wonder people can’t sleep: the stress and uncertainty of this situation would put a damper on anyone’s wellbeing.
When you think about our current health crisis, it makes sense. Then inability to get quality sleep due to the push and pull of COVID-19 is a phenomenon coined ‘coronasomnia.’
A report from the National Institutes of Health, in the early stage of the pandemic, revealed “very high rates of clinically significant insomnia.” Recognized as a widespread problem, according to UC Davis, coronasomnia could have an alarming effect on the physical and emotional health of many if not properly addressed.
“It’s a problem everywhere, across all age groups,” said Angela Drake, a UC Davis Health clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
“Insomnia was a problem before COVID-19,” she said. “Now, from what we know anecdotally, the increase is enormous.”
Insomnia, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), is the difficulty of going to sleep, staying asleep, or waking too early. The lack of rest caused by insomnia is triggered by stress, huge changes or events that impact a person’s quality of life.
If you’re struggling with coronasomnia, it’s important to actively engage in ensuring you get better sleep — after all, sleep is what leads to wellness in our daily lives.
Why is our sleep so important?
Quality sleep is essential to our day-to-day functioning, overall health and wellness as human beings. Without it, the potential for emotional distress, health conditions and serious diseases is exasperated.
Sleep does so much for our bodies, including:
- Getting a great night’s sleep empowers our body to have an effective immune system.
- Did you wake up on “the wrong side” of the bed? It turns out, sleep really can affect your mood. Without it, people can experience irritability, low energy levels and worsening feelings of depression.
- Sleep boosts our brain function. When we get proper sleep, our brains are able to learn, contribute to complex thought, retain memory, and take part in clear decision-making. Remember in school when they urged you to get a good night’s sleep and eat breakfast before a big test? This is why.
Getting ZZZ’s has an effect on our mental health. A lack of sleep is linked to anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
We want you to be the best you can be — starting with a restful night.
What’s a person got to do to get any sleep around here?
While the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t seem to be slowing down just yet, your experience with coronasomnia certainly can. With a little help, you can get back to a healthy version of sleep.
Try these helpful, easy tips:
1. Try breathing techniques to fall asleep
Are you struggling to fall asleep? Try using a breathing technique. Max Strom — a yoga teacher, author, and speaker — recommends this simple, age-old breathing exercise to get into the mindset of falling asleep.
“A simple, age-old breathing practice that I use and teach is ideal for insomnia caused by stress. It’s the 4-7-8 Breathing Pattern,” Strom says, “Lie in your bed in the dark, ready to sleep. Then inhale to the count of four, hold your breath to the count of seven, and exhale to the count of eight. I recommend continuing this for two minutes, but you can always do it longer.”
2. Limit your use of technology before bed
While many people have a habit of scrolling through their phone or laptop in bed, it doesn’t actually help you wind down. Blue light — emitted from screens — can delay the release of the sleep-inducing hormone in our bodies, called melatonin. This can increase our alertness and reset the body’s internal clock to a later schedule. By limiting your screen time, your body can adjust, preparing for your bedtime.
3. Limit your exposure to the news (especially before bed)
If you’re experiencing coronasomnia, watching or reading the news likely isn’t a stress reliever. Try to limit your news intake to once or twice a day — at a designated time — and skip it before bed. Reducing your stress levels before hitting the pillow could help.
4. Try taking melatonin
Taking melatonin, known as the “sleep hormone” — is a neurohormone produced in the pineal gland of the brain — and can be helpful in preparing our bodies for sleep. Along with its sleep-inducing qualities, it’s also been shown to aid in the fight against COVID-19.
5. Do you need a Sleep Fix? Try this Cognitive Therapy Course
If bad sleep and COVID-19 has got you down, you’re not alone. Consider trying a cognitive therapy course aimed at getting you back to the pleasure of sleeping soundly in just a few short weeks. Dr. Michael Grandnew Ph.D., the Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Sleep and Health Research at the University of Arizona, can guide you through the 8-week course to achieve better overall health, improved productivity and a better quality of life.
At The Swell Score, our aim is to help you live the happiest, healthiest life you can — and that includes your sleep. Let’s ditch coronasomnia, fix your sleep and help you sleep well-rested.
Are you ready? Check out our Black Friday Bundle complete with The Sleep Fix, The Stress Detox and The Swell Score yearly membership — which gives you access to exclusive deals, unlimited access to doctor-recommended supplements and courses in our wellness marketplace.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.