COVID rates are falling and the U.S. economy is growing, but people are still struggling with pandemic insomnia

pandemic insomnia
Photo via Andrew Roberts/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Things are looking up in the United States. Barring a resurgence, the country has left the worst of the pandemic behind, the economy is growing, and people are starting to return to normal life. Despite this, broad swathes of the population continue to experience pandemic-induced insomnia.

Thankfully, there are a few methods to combat this surge in sleeplessness.

The uptick in instances of pandemic insomnia are so common that experts have even coined several new terms for it. Sometimes referred to as “coronasomnia” or “COVID-somnia,” the phenomenon is cropping up all around the globe, from the U.S. and U.K. to China, Greece, and Italy. 

Mental health, in general, has taken a massive blow during the pandemic. People suffering from anxiety and depression have increased immensely over the last year and a half, and these issues are likely contributing to the sleeplessness many are experiencing worldwide. Nearly a quarter of people affected by COVID-19 report suffering from pandemic insomnia, according to ABC News, and it’s due to a variety of reasons. 

First, there are those who actually recovered from a bout of COVID-19. A study found that insomnia is one of the most common neurological side effects among COVID survivors, with more than 5% of participants in the study experiencing it.

Then, there’s everyone else. Healthcare workers are particularly hard hit among groups that were affected by the pandemic but didn’t actually catch the virus. Almost everyone saw some part of the pandemic affect them, however, between changes in schedule, job losses, and the abrupt departure of our social lives. This has all had a negative impact on sleep. 

How to combat pandemic insomnia

People suffering from pandemic-induced insomnia have a few options to assist with their sleeping problems. It’s always advisable to start with a visit to your doctor to ensure that your sleeping issues don’t have a more insidious source. Assuming the root of the issue is, in fact, the pandemic, they will likely recommend a schedule adjustment.

Getting, and keeping to, a schedule is the key to good sleep. Our bodies function on a certain schedule, and the loss of that consistency during the pandemic can make it difficult for our brains to operate properly.

Try to get up at the same time each day and keep any workouts to the early hours. Prepare yourself for bed ahead of time by dimming lights, avoiding phones and other devices, and keeping eating and drinking to a minimum in the hours before bedtime. 

Sources: Sleep Foundation, ABC News, BBC

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