These last few months have been hard on everyone. If you find yourself staying up later, tossing and turning throughout the night and sleeping more than you should throughout the day, you are not alone. Numerous reports, polls and studies have determined that the COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on lots of sleep schedules.
Importance of Getting Enough Sleep
Most adults need an average of seven to eight hours of sleep per night in order to function.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, getting enough sleep can protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life and safety.
While you sleep, your body is able to heal and repair itself, which is specifically beneficial for your heart and blood vessels. Sleep deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.
A good night’s sleep can help improve your ability to learn, pay attention, make decisions and be creative. Depression, suicide and risky behavior have all been linked to sleep deficiency.
Increase in Anxiety & Stress
These are stressful times, with health concerns, job loss and fear of the unknown playing a large role. According to a report completed in the middle of the pandemic by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 53% of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.
Stress and anxiety can lead to insomnia, a sleep disorder characterized by having trouble falling or staying asleep. When trying to fall asleep, the body begins to slow down, shifting from awake to relaxed. Elevated stress makes this process more challenging, since stress and anxiety can cause your heart to beat faster and make you more alert.
The best way to treat insomnia caused by stress is to address the cause directly. Eating balanced meals and avoiding alcohol use can help improve your mental health. Stress that is related to the pandemic can be limited by taking a break from the news and making time to unwind at the end of the day by engaging in activities you enjoy.
To learn more about how to improve your sleep during these unprecedented times or to schedule an appointment with a sleep expert, contact Pinnacle ENT Associates today.