COVID-19-Induced Insomnia: Strategies for a Restful Night’s Sleep
November 15, 2023
The COVID-19 epidemic has had a negative effect on mental health in addition to physical health. Insomnia, a sleep condition marked by difficulties falling or staying asleep, is one of the common adverse effects. Sleep disruptions have increased as a result of the pandemic’s stress, uncertainty, and lifestyle changes. This post will examine the connection between COVID-19 and insomnia and go over practical methods for dealing with and resolving this sleep issue.
Understanding the Connection
There are several facets to the link between COVID-19 and sleeplessness. A number of variables come together to cause sleep disruptions, such as fear of illness, social isolation, economic instability, and the general uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. Stress causes the hormone cortisol to be released, and an increased level of this hormone can disrupt the regular cycle of sleep and wakefulness.
People’s ability to regulate their sleep-wake cycles has been further disrupted by changes in daily routines, more screen time, and decreased physical exercise as a result of lockdowns. An further consequence of the blurring of work and personal life borders is unpredictable sleep cycles, particularly for remote workers.
Strategies for Coping with COVID-19-Induced Insomnia
Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Maintaining a regular sleep routine is crucial for resetting circadian rhythms. Even on weekends, establish a regular bedtime and wake-up time to support your body’s natural schedule.
Create a Relaxing Bedtime Ritual: Create a relaxing bedtime ritual to let your body know when it’s time to relax. This might involve engaging in relaxing activities like deep breathing, reading a book, or having a warm bath.
Limit Exposure to Screens Before Bed: The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Aim to reduce screen time at least an hour before bedtime to promote a more restful sleep.
Manage Stress and Anxiety: Engage in stress-reducing activities, such as meditation, yoga, or mindfulness exercises. Managing anxiety through these techniques can positively impact sleep quality.
Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment: Make sure your bedroom is a comfortable place to sleep. This means creating a quiet, chilly, and dark environment in addition to having a comfortable mattress and pillows. Consider using blackout curtains and white noise generators if needed.
Limit Stimulants and Alcohol: Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that can disrupt sleep, so it’s advisable to avoid them, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. Alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, but it can also make your sleep later in the night decrease in quality.
Stay Active During the Day: Regular physical activity has been shown to improve sleep quality. Include exercise in your regular schedule, but steer clear of strenuous activities right before bed.
Seek Professional Help When Needed: If insomnia persists, consider seeking help from a healthcare professional or a sleep specialist. They can assess your individual situation and recommend appropriate interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) or pharmacological treatments.
Stay Informed but Limit Exposure to News: While it’s important to stay informed about the pandemic, constant exposure to news, especially before bedtime, can contribute to anxiety. Establish certain periods during the day to read the news, and steer clear of it right before bed.
Connect with Others: Social isolation has been a significant challenge during the pandemic. Stay connected with friends and family through virtual means or, when possible, in-person interactions. Sharing experiences and emotions can help to lessen feelings of loneliness and provide emotional support.
As the world continues to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential to prioritize mental well-being, including addressing sleep disturbances like insomnia. By implementing the strategies discussed in this article, individuals can take proactive steps towards fostering a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep. Remember that overcoming insomnia is a gradual process, and patience, consistency, and self-compassion are key elements in the journey to better sleep amid these unprecedented times.
Janvi Dhiman holds a Master's degree in Biotechnology and has a background in both undergraduate and postgraduate studies from Amity University, Noida. Her passion lies in making meaningful contributions to the healthcare and research sectors. Currently, she is a valued member of our team, serving as a Research Analyst and a medical content writer at DiseaseInfoHub.