With today (Friday 18th March) being ‘World Sleep Day’, what better time to look at why, more than ever, lots of us are having trouble sleeping?
One of the most popular goals on an ongoing basis is, unsurprisingly, getting more sleep. But there’s a problem: the coronavirus pandemic over the past two years has made getting a good night’s rest significantly harder. Some experts even have a term for it: ‘coronasomnia’ or ‘Covid-insomnia.
This is the phenomenon that’s hit people all over the world as they experience insomnia linked to the stress of life during Covid-19. In the UK, an August 2020 study from the University of Southampton showed that the number of people experiencing insomnia rose from one in six to one in four, with more sleep problems in communities including mothers and essential workers.
So, studies are showing that more of us are now insomniacs. The Pandemic has caused months of social distancing, which has rocked our daily routines, erased work-life boundaries and brought ongoing uncertainty into our lives – with disastrous consequences for sleep. Our health and productivity could face serious problems because of it.
Insomnia, whether in a pandemic or not, is difficult to live with. Consistently having trouble falling asleep, or experiencing poor quality sleep, can lead to long-term health impacts including obesity, anxiety, depression, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Sleep insufficiency – which many health authorities classify as less than seven hours a night – also affects your work; many studies have shown that it makes you more likely to make mistakes, wrecks your concentration, increases reaction times, and affects your moods.
Multiple factors are at play. First, our daily routines and environments have been disrupted, making it hard to keep our daily rhythm intact. Normally, our days run to a schedule of alarm clocks, commutes, breaks and bedtimes – but Covid-19 has shaken all that up.
We have lost many of the external cues and routines, that are present in the office meetings, the scheduled lunch breaks, starting work at the same time everyday etc, so what you’re doing [during remote working] is disrupting your body’s clock.
Your brain is conditioned: you’re always at your workplace and working, and then at your home and you’re relaxing. There’s a differentiation there. So, if you are still working from home all, or most of the time, we may be getting less exercise and potentially less exposure to natural light – both of which contribute to better sleep.
So, what can you do to help yourself get a better night’s sleep?
Take a look at The Sleep Council’s top tips and information about sleep: https://thesleepcharity.org.uk/information-support/adults/
Read our guide on buying a bed here: https://quadrant.chelmsfordstar.coop/sites/default/files/uploads/bedguide_0.pdf
Read our guide on keeping warm in bed: https://quadrant.chelmsfordstar.coop/quadrant/sleep-tips-keeping-warm-bed
Did you know that our Chelmsford and Braintree Quadrant department stores have well over 50 beds on display? Plus, with knowledgeable staff on hand to help you choose the correct bed for you!