The past year has been undoubtedly a stressful time. The pandemic has caused many individuals to experience chronic stress, impacting their overall health. In particular, it has triggered sleep problems among most people.
When you experience stress, your autonomic nervous system activates, releasing hormones including cortisol. This then causes your blood pressure to increase, putting your body into fight-or-flight mode. With cortisol pumping through the bloodstream, falling asleep can be quite challenging.
When you lose sleep, you're more likely to have difficulty managing your thoughts and emotions, contributing to further stress. It's a cycle that has become so strikingly notable over the past year that experts have come up with a term for it—“coronasomnia.”
The Coronasomnia Cycle
Research shows that there has been a 20% rise in sleep medication use since the pandemic hit. Experts attribute this to the uncertainty brought about by the lockdowns and other impositions, worrying people about their finances and health, thus causing them to struggle with transitioning back to their normal sleeping habits. Eventually, the lack of enough rest and prolonged stress results in exhaustion.
But it's not just chronic stress that has affected one's sleep cycles. Most people also had to deal with irregular daily schedules and increased screen time, contributing to sleep loss. Routines have been disrupted, and this has led to inconsistent downtime patterns.
Experts emphasize that having a consistent schedule is essential to getting a good night's rest. When there is no fixed time to wind down or quiet the mind, the body loses track of when it should be resting or when it should be alert. This ultimately results in disturbed sleep.
Get the Rest You Need
Sleep boosts the immune system, improves mood, and regulates metabolism, keeping the body functioning well. While getting the right amount of rest every night consistently may not come easy, fixing your sleep schedule can help you maintain good health, enabling you to live a productive life.
Simple things like turning off your mobile phone one hour before bedtime, following a structured daytime schedule, learning how to manage stress, exercising, and eating a balanced diet can help optimize sleep, contributing to a healthier lifestyle.
The infographic by Mediclick PH explores the science of sleep concerning the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting how it has impacted our sleeping patterns. It also presents steps on how to get enough rest, helping you get that much-needed downtime so you can better deal with the new normal brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Published by Gladine Manual