Coronavirus Anxiety Affecting Sleep Habits

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Has your sleep be impacted since the start of the coronavirus? Are you having weird dreams? If you answered yes, you are not alone.

In a new survey from Sleep Standards, 77 percent of Americans said the pandemic has affected their sleep. 48 percent of the survey participants said it is because they are feeling anxious about what is going on in the world.

UK HealthCare sleep specialist Dr. Rajan Joshi said since the coronavirus, gears are constantly turning making it hard to relax when it is time for bed. The routine change doesn’t help either.

“They wake up at the wrong time. They sleep at the wrong time. The sleep-wake cycle is disturbed,” Joshi said.

Some even say they are having odd dreams. Dr. Joshi said REM sleep, the cycle of sleep in which most dreams occur, is associated with parts of the brain that deal with emotions and memories.

“All of those things tend to come into your dream making and that’s one of the reasons why we do get weird dreams,” Joshi said.

So what can people do to get better sleep?

  • Turn off bright lights and electronics at least an hour before bed.
  • Keep the bedroom at a cool temperature.
  • Don’t take work with you to bed.
  • Make the bed during the day, so that it is more inviting when it is time to sleep.
  • Start to wind down at least an hour before bed.
  • Take a warm shower before bed.
  • Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day.
  • Maintain regular workouts.
  • Go outside to get sunlight for a little each day.
  • Avoid napping during the day.
  • Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol before bed.
  • Practice mindful breathing exercises before bed.

Dr. Joshi said getting seven or more hours of sleep a night is important for overall health and wellbeing. Hopefully, these tips will help you do so.