Untroubled sleep in troubled times
Sleep is critical to physical health and effective functioning of the immune system. It's also a key promoter of emotional wellness and mental health, helping to beat back stress, depression, and anxiety.
Since official COVID-19 outbreak and the first lock down in March 2020 we were all forced to adopt our daily life routine to the new reality. Routine plays a huge role in the quality of your sleep. COVID-19 has brought enormous disruptions of our daily lives and schedules. Many of us experience higher levels of stress and anxiety with a new “home” life that suddenly incorporates work and school/daycare schedules. It's not easy to function at our best without easy access to our usual coping skills (e.g., social support, exercise, etc.) stuck at home with all the Zoom & Microsoft Teams calls. Mild cold is immediately linked to the potential infection with Covid-19 and the related consequences for the family and close environment. This creates immense pressure and stress in daily life.
Elevated stress and an overload of information can keep the mind racing and elevate the body’s arousal system response, triggering insomnia. In addition, we spend much more time looking at our screens (numerous video calls, checking news updates and numbers of Covid-19 infections, ordering all kind of things through online shops, doing educations courses online etc.). It is scientifically proven that the blue light from these screens tells the brain to stop producing the sleep hormone melatonin. This can further lead to trouble falling asleep. Finally, depressed mood, more downtime and low energy can increase long napping, making it harder to fall asleep at night.
Today is World Sleep Day – the best day to remind ourselves how essential it is to have good quality sleep these days.