How Has The Pandemic Affected Our Sleep?

How Has The Pandemic Affected Our Sleep?

How Has The Pandemic Affected Our Sleep?

The COVID-19 pandemic spanned across the globe and affected people from all over the world, leaving behind a trail of instability, economic damage and human loss. In addition, the pandemic also took a considerable toll on the mental health of many individuals, which resulted in added stress and disruptive sleep patterns. 

Royal Phillips, a leader in global health technology, conducted a survey to discover how COVID-19 impacted sleep quality. The survey involved 13,000 people across 13 different countries and found that 70% claimed to have had one or more new sleep challenges since the start of the pandemic. Moreover, 60% reported that the pandemic had directly impacted their ability to sleep soundly.

 

How stress disrupts sleep

Staying awake at night or waking up in the early hours can often be attributed to stress. Since the pandemic's beginning, there have been many surveys surrounding the rise and fall of stress levels and other mental health issues, which could be keeping us awake at night.

The Office for National Statistics reported that one-third of British adults claimed the pandemic has directly affected their wellbeing. Whatsmore, they stated that approximately 19 million adults in Great Britain reported high anxiety levels, with 49.6% of adults reporting high anxiety at the start of the pandemic.

Stress and anxiety can be responsible for keeping you awake as it causes you to become more alert. Stress can produce hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which raise the heart rate and encourage a fight or flight response. Due to this reaction, you are more likely to experience anxious and rapid thoughts, preventing you from getting enough sleep.

 

Working from home

Stress can be caused by many factors, including the inability to separate your working schedule from your personal time. As of 2021, it was estimated that half of British workers are still engaging in remote or hybrid working. Despite the benefits of home-working, creating a work-life balance can also be difficult, resulting in added stress and loss of sleep.

Working from home can be challenging for those with families and pets, especially for those whose children participate in online schooling. Due to these personal commitments and responsibilities, working hours can be disrupted, and many may find themselves working overtime. Connection issues and getting to grips with new technology may also present their own challenges.

Usually, work-related stress can be left in the office; however, it can be difficult to disconnect when the office is in your own home. The Guardian newspaper reported that home workers experienced increased levels of mental distress and loneliness during the pandemic. As previously mentioned, stress can cause you to become more alert which causes sleep difficulties. To help disconnect and relax, try switching off the phone and laptop at the end of the working day. You can also create a separate area in your home for working, which will allow you to distinguish between your personal and office space.

 

Covid sleep side effects

In addition to stress and mental health issues keeping you awake during the pandemic, side effects from experiencing covid first-hand may have also caused you to lose sleep. The main symptoms of covid include fever, persistent coughing, body aches, shortness of breath and a headache. These symptoms can cause discomfort and distress, making it more challenging to relax and go to sleep.

On the other hand, covid can also cause fatigue, which could cause you to take naps during the day. This may disrupt your regular sleeping schedule and could continue to affect you long term. To combat this, try going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every night; this can aid your body clock by developing a consistent routine.

Tips for a better sleep

Whether you are experiencing stress or suffering from covid symptoms, there are various methods you can try to achieve a better night’s rest. Keep reading for some easy steps you can take to help improve the quality of your sleep.

  1. Sleep Schedule: Establishing a regular sleep schedule involves going to bed and waking up at approximately the same time every night. This can help prepare your internal body clock to know when it’s time to sleep and awaken.
  2. Technology: Using technology before bed can cause the mind to become more active and alert rather than relaxing. In addition, the blue light from phones and laptops is believed to reduce melatonin, the sleep hormone.
  3. Bed: In order to relax, it’s important to be comfortable and cosy. You should try to find the right mattress for your sleeping position and firmness preferences. Check out the Dormeo mattresses recommended by The Mattress Guide to find the right fit for you.
  4. Meditation: If stress keeps you awake, you could try meditation and breathing exercises. These methods are considered effective by many as they can help you to relax and focus on clearing your mind from unwanted thoughts.
  5. Liquids: It’s recommended to avoid drinking a large amount of water before bed as you may find yourself waking up to use the bathroom. Also, many experts say you shouldn’t consume caffeine for up to 6 hours before bedtime.
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