Causes of Sleeplessness and Ways to Sleep Well Amid A Pandemic

Causes of Sleeplessness
19 Jan, 2021

The novel coronavirus, commonly known as COVID-19, has shaken the world, affecting millions of people’s health and lives. Human life has changed since the first hit of the COVID-19 outbreak. With so many changes in our lives, it is common to feel stressed and overlook the importance of getting proper sleep.

Sleep is vital for our physical health, better functioning of the immune system, and mental health, helping us avoid stress, anxiety, and depression.

Whether you have a history of sleeping problems or are facing trouble sleeping, specifically after the COVID-19, there are several ways you can follow to improve your sleep, even amid this global pandemic.

Why is Sleep Important?

  • Sleep is anyway vital for your wellbeing; as we struggle to make a balance between the physical, mental, and emotional demands of the pandemic, it becomes even more crucial than before.
  • Sleep strengthens our immune system.
  • Sleep boosts our brain’s functioning, and our mind works better when we get up after completing a good sleep.
  • Children and adults who are adapting to school and work at home can stay sharp and attentive by having a good sleep daily.
  • Improper or incomplete sleep can make a person irritable, cause depression, and drag their energy level down.
  • Sleep improves our mental health; different studies have found that a lack of sleep can further lead to anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

There might be several reasons you cannot sleep at night; let’s discuss them in brief.

Challenges to Sleep During a Pandemic

Insomnia has affected millions of people before the coronavirus outbreak; moreover, it has created a set of whole new challenges even for the people who never had sleeping problems previously.

Although affected people and front-line medical staff face the direct impacts of the virus, its mental and emotional consequences are widespread and posing barriers to sleep, which are described below.

1. Daily Life Disruptions

  • Closure of schools, social distancing, work from home, etc., have brought significant changes to your routines that we were following for ages. It can be a little challenging to adapt to the new normal, new daily schedule, or you might be unable to prepare a proper schedule.

2. Anxiety & Worry

  • In a pandemic like a coronavirus, it is common for people to fear catching the virus. You might also be concerned about you and your loved ones, especially those already in high-risk groups due to conditions that make them more vulnerable to this virus. All such worries can disturb your sleep.

3. Grief & Depression

  • The coronavirus crisis can trigger depressed feelings that may get worse for people who have relatives that are sick or have passed away due to the virus.
  • Besides, as economies worldwide struggle to return on track, you might be worried about your job, income, savings, and survival. Grief and depression both can cause sleeping problems. 

4. Isolation and Work Stress

  • Getting self-quarantined isolated from friends/family, canceling travel plans, and spending plenty of time inside the home can put a strain on you.

  • Real problems can also be you trying to comply with your remote work obligations or handling the house with several kids who were supposed to be at school. All this can make you feel stressed, further preventing you from having a good, healthy sleep.

5. Extended Screen Time

  • TV, computer, or smartphone, you agree that you are using these more after the COVID-19 outbreak and government orders to stay at home, don’t you?
  • Longer screen time can negatively impact sleep. Does your mind take a lot of time to wind down when you are in bed? The blue light from screens could be the reason that can make your body stop naturally producing melatonin (a hormone that helps you sleep).

6. Stress-related Fatigue

  • Living through the uncertainties caused by the pandemic can lead to chronic stress and may have other physical symptoms, such as digestive problems, memory lapses, continual headaches, etc.
  • Even after taking enough sleep at night, you may still feel tired in the morning due to fatigue.

Experts say getting high-quality sleep helps us improve all health aspects, and this is why it is worth paying attention to our sleeping patterns amid this pandemic.

Guidelines to Sleeping Well During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Sleep is essential for mental health and emotional wellness; it helps us tackle stress, depression, and anxiety. Read these helpful tips to keep away from stress and sleep well.

1. Be Positive

  • It might not directly impact your sleep, but being positive can help reduce stress.
  • For instance, you can find, read positive stories about how people are helping each other in this crucial time.
  • If you feel alone in isolation, you can make video calls to your friends and family, feel good, and make them feel good too.

2. Set A Schedule and Routine

  • Set a time to wake up: Fix a time to start each time and set the alarm for the same; do not hit the snooze button.
  • Finish your daily tasks: Regardless of your daily chores, if you want to get a good sleep at night, make sure you finish everything on time.
  • Bedtime: Pick a time to go to bed and maintain consistency. It can be tough initially, but later, you can make it a habit of sleeping on time.

3. Get Some Time for Exercise

  • Out of all your busy schedules, you should take 30 to 60 minutes for a workout every day. Any physical exercise can influence sleep, but if done on time.
  • Health specialists often suggest early morning or evening workout sessions, and you can choose one as per your own work-life schedule.

4. Types of Exercise You Can Do Daily

  • Walking around your neighborhood for 30-40 minutes can be the best way to do some cardiovascular workout required per day.
  • If you are reluctant to go out due to the fear of catching the virus, you can simply run on a treadmill or in your backyard.
  • If you had sleeping problems before the pandemic, you can try strength training that includes activities like push-ups, squats, jumping, etc.
  • Strength training exercises exhaust your muscles, helping you get deep and quality sleep each night.

5. Learn Some Relaxation Techniques

  • Learn a few relaxation techniques: stretching, deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, reading books, yoga, etc.
  • Another way you can keep your mind relaxed is not letting you become overwhelmed by sad or scary coronavirus-related news.

6. Contact A Doctor When in Need

  • If you are facing severe sleeping problems, it is always recommended to contact your primary care physician first.
  • These days, many doctors offer telemedicine, allowing patients to consult without physically visiting their medical practice.

Do you feel any symptoms of stress, depression, or insomnia? Do you have concerns regarding your sleeping patterns? Get in touch with the highly experienced and caring physicians of Central Valley Medical Providers/MedPRO.

For additional information, you may also consult our Customer Service Department at (877) 216-4215 or local: 559.450.6334.