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Covidsomnia: How COVID-19 Anxiety Affects Sleep

by Relax Melodies
Dec 1 • 2 min read
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While the summer months brought a brief reprieve from Covid-19 stress, with lower infection rates and warmer weather, winter is now at our doorstep and unfortunately, the pandemic remains a fact of daily life. The number of positive cases is rising once again, and stress, anxiety, and fear are back in full swing.

If the ongoing pandemic is affecting your sleep, you’re not alone. As we await a vaccine and the end of 2020, many people are finding it more difficult than ever to get a good night’s sleep. The good news is that you can use meditation, relaxation techniques, and other strategies to improve your sleep as soon as tonight.

How COVID is Affecting Sleep

“Covidsomnia” or “coronasomnia” are terms used in the media to describe how the pandemic has negatively impacted many people’s sleep. Insomnia, a sleep disorder that makes falling or staying asleep difficult, is often caused by stress and anxiety. With those emotions skyrocketing throughout the pandemic, it’s no wonder insomnia is a growing problem across the world.

A large Chinese study with over 5,000 participants shows the major impacts that the pandemic has on sleep in adults:

  • High rates of clinically-significant insomnia (up to 20%)
  • Higher rates of insomnia in at-risk populations, especially healthcare workers
  • A 30% increase in insomnia in the population from before the pandemic to its spring peak
  • Overall increased stress, anxiety, and depression

Neurologists who help patients with sleep disorders have reported a surge in cases of insomnia this year. They also say that more people are misusing sleep aid medications and that many with mild insomnia now struggle with chronic sleep troubles.

How To Sleep Well During a Pandemic

It is possible to sleep well again, even as the world crisis continues. Take these steps to battle covidsomnia:

Get outside more.

Daytime exposure to sunlight is essential for a properly functioning internal clock. The pandemic keeps people indoors more than ever, so make a point to get out at least once a day for a walk.

Control what you can.

The pandemic leaves many people feeling out of control. Accept that you cannot manage the big things and focus on what you can control, such as your own response to the virus and protecting your family.

Manage stress.

Find ways to lower stress if you can, and to manage the stress that remains. For instance, working from home is a significant stressor, blurring the line between personal and professional time. Set specific work hours and log off the rest of the day.

Relax before bedtime.

Experts suggest that taking time to be mindful, to relax, and to quiet the mind before bed promotes better sleep. The Relax Melodies app is a great tool for bedtime relaxation. Try a relaxing guided meditation or turn on a medley of sounds you find soothing and that distracts you from worries.

Covidsomnia is a real phenomenon. By identifying and acknowledging it, we are taking the first steps towards beating it. Take a look at where you can reduce or better manage stress, change your perspective on what you can control, get outside for exercise, and rely on relaxation apps like Relax Melodies to prime your mind for restful sleep.

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