The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of life, including sleep patterns. With increasing stress, sadness, and anxiety during the pandemic, it’s easier for anyone to experience sleeplessness. Experts call the condition of sleeplessness caused by stress during this pandemic with the term coronasomnia.
Also read: Can Weakened Immune, Here’s How to Manage Stress During a Pandemic
What is Coronasomnia?
Coronasomnia is characterized by an increase in sleep problems during the pandemic, which are accompanied by symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. The biggest difference between coronasomnia and insomnia in general is of course because this condition is related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stress can activate the autonomic nervous system which in turn triggers the release of hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Both of these hormones can cause heart rate and blood pressure to increase, so a person will find it difficult to sleep.
Lack of sleep quality will also have a major effect on a person’s emotions and thoughts. In the end, stress and sleep problems are an endless loop that affects each other.
People’s sleeping habits have also changed during the pandemic. According to one study, people spend less time sleeping at night and more during the day. They also regressed their sleep and wake times by 39 and 64 minutes, respectively. As a result, the quality of sleep is disturbed.
In addition, lifestyle changes during the pandemic are a contributing factor to coronasomnia. Some people have to adjust to new routines that are very different from before, for example doing activities only from home, losing their jobs, financial impact, and also increasing screen time. All of these can affect the quality and timing of a person’s sleep.
Symptoms of Coronasomnia
Similar to the condition of insomnia, coronasomnia also makes a person find it difficult to sleep and also sleep well. This condition is usually accompanied by other psychological symptoms, such as increased anxiety and depression.
Also read: Can I Run In The Morning During The Coronavirus Pandemic?
How to Overcome Coronasomnia
Coronasomnia can be very disruptive to routine. Therefore, do the following things to solve it.
1. Improve sleep quality
To improve sleep quality, try the following tricks:
– Set schedule for bedtime and wake up time. Make sure you sleep with a duration of between 7 to 9 hours. Do it every day, including on weekends.
– Avoid naps that are too long. Short naps of 20 to 30 minutes can make the body feel more refreshed and energized. However, taking too long a nap can actually make it difficult to sleep at night.
– Sunbathing in the morning. Light is the strongest regulator of the body’s circadian rhythm. For that, spend time outdoors for sunbathing or activities near the window in the morning. The body will stay fresh and reset the circadian rhythm.
– Turn off the lights while sleeping. Also make sure your bedroom is clean, cool, and comfortable to reduce the stress you experience during a day of activities.
– Reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol can have a calming effect. On the other hand, alcohol can interfere with sleep quality, making it difficult for you to sleep well. Drinking alcohol also puts you at risk of waking up early and making snoring worse.
– Limit caffeine intake. Try not to drink coffee or tea at least 6 hours before bedtime. Caffeine consumption of more than 1,000 mg per week is also often associated with an increased risk of anxiety and depression.
– Early dinner. Avoid eating at a time that is too late because it can cause stomach pain and restlessness during sleep
2. Implement a daily routine
Routines give our brains cues when to eat, work, feel alert, and feel tired. Establishing a daily routine and following it can reduce stress. In addition, routine can be a clear time marker in a new lifestyle, such as working at home which can sometimes feel monotonous.
Set a clear time for starting or ending work and eating. Also schedule time for rest and regular exercise. Exercise can not only increase energy, it can also help strengthen the body’s circadian cycle.
3. Relieve stress
Not only during a pandemic, stress is always a major factor that interferes with sleep quality. Therefore, do stress management by exercising regularly, writing a journal, and reducing exposure to news that makes anxiety increase.
Well, those are some things about coronasomnia that you need to know and how to overcome them. Hope it is useful! (US)
Also read: During a pandemic, don’t forget the threat of death from non-communicable diseases
Healthline. “Coronasomnia: How the Pandemic May Be Affecting Your Sleep”.
Sleep Foundation. “Coronasomnia: Definition, Symptoms, and Solutions”.