Have you been experiencing poor sleep since the start of the pandemic? If so, you’re far from alone. Medical experts have reported increasing rates of symptoms of insomnia over the past year. Some have dubbed the cases of poor sleep as “coronasomnia.”
Causes of Coronasomnia
Below are some of the root causes of coronasomnia.
This past year has been divisive. But there’s one thing everyone can agree on, and that’s that it has been a stressful year. From the worry of getting sick to the financial uncertainty and everything in between, it seems like we’ve been hit with nothing but stress.
Stress has a negative impact on sleep and is a well-known risk factor for insomnia. This is because stress activates the autonomic nervous system, triggering the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol and raising the heart rate and blood pressure. Essentially, it puts you into fight or flight mode.
No wonder it’s been challenging to fall and stay asleep.
The coronavirus has also disrupted everyone’s routines. This has been especially hard on parents, many of whom have had to balance working from home with homeschooling their children, all with even more limited opportunities to relax and unwind in between.
Going to bed and waking up at inconsistent times also makes getting a good night’s rest more challenging, as our bodies rely on a regular sleep schedule in order to feel rested.
Between conference room meetings turning into Zoom call meetings and the tendency to binge TV shows and movies to escape the real world, exposure to blue light is at an all-time high for many. This can disrupt circadian rhythm and make it tougher to get to sleep.
Tips for Better Sleep
Fortunately, there are ways to break the coronasomnia sleep cycle. The experts at Hampton Roads ENT recommend:
- Setting a structured daytime schedule that includes rest time. If you can spend the last hour before bed reading a book, gently stretching or meditating, even better.
- Eating a magnesium-rich diet such as dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, cashews, avocados and dark chocolate.
- Taking a break from caffeine and alcohol, which can disrupt your ability to fall or stay asleep.
- Using a weighted blanket, which simulates deep-touch pressure therapy.