Sleep has been labelled as one of the victims of the COVID_19 pandemic, as our normal sleep routines have experienced a shake up due to the current government lockdown.
One of the more rare outcomes of the pandemic can come in the form of insomnia, a condition caused when sleepless nights escalate into full blown sleeplessness, with our bodies unable to switch off each night for rest. We’ve been working with MLILY Sleep Scientist Dr.Robin Thorpe to discover the cause of sleep loss and it’s affects on the body.
‘The lifestyle changes that we have all experienced over the past few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic has notably affected many individuals sleep behaviour and quality, and it is important that we know how to detect some of these changes early and to ensure that acute issues in sleep don’t escalate into more chronic problems’ – Dr.Robin Thorpe
Even in normal times, where a pandemic is not on the doorstep, up to 35 per cent of people experience some form of insomnia. Whilst the most common form of insomnia tends to be acute, intense and last for a short amount of time, it can be still an unpleasant addition to an otherwise healthy lifestyle, with a poor sleep affecting our everyday lives in countless ways.
Whilst studies have shown that up to 72 per cent of all insomnia cases do resolve themselves, a small amount of around 6 per cent of all cases can develop into acute insomnia, which can have a detrimental affect on physical and mental well being.
Due to the majority of people now staying at home due to COVID_19 rules, alarm clocks are being switched off, whilst a lack of outdoor exercise and social interaction can work to worsen the risk of insomnia developing.
Whilst many might simply see insomnia as a small inconvenience, the implications can also be severe and could link to a series of underlying health conditions, from diabetes through to hypertension.
‘We know from previous sleep and medical research that chronic sleep issues can lead to some clinical problems but also poor sleep can also exacerbate some existing medical conditions such as depression. A single night of poor sleep may not have a long standing effect however, multiple sleep issues in a short period or consistent issues over time can lead to more long term problems therefore we should really be aware of our sleep habits and adjust accordingly or seek expert advice sooner rather than later’- Dr.Robin Thorpe
Insomnia can also have an affect on our weight, as our bodies struggle to use excess energy in the day due to a lack of rest, whilst other risks such as depression and simply low mood can also be the byproduct of restless nights.
Discover these tips for stopping insomnia in its tracks during lockdown, so that you can keep on being the best version of you…
-Avoid napping, opt instead for a simple lie down, relaxing your body for 20 minutes can be brilliant for resetting your mood and energy levels. If you’d like to learn on the job too, you can opt for downloading a mental health app, perfect for listening to when you’re having a rest.
-avoid caffeine after midday. If you’re really struggling to sleep, avoid caffeinated beverages in the afternoon as they can work to disrupt the natural sleep cycle of the body, opt instead for decaf or a selection of herbal teas.
-Get inventive. There are plenty of options to consider if you wake in the night and can’t get back to sleep. An important thing to note is to not reach for your phone, as the exposure to blue light can keep you awake for longer.
Opt instead for getting out of bed and doing something else until you feel sleepy, reading a book, doing a puzzle or listening to a sleep cast.
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