The Coronavirus emergency and the lockdown have caused a serious increase in sleep problems in the population. How to find normality?
Unsurprisingly, sleep problems have increased since the Coronavirus pandemic broke out. First the apprehension of the spread of the virus, then the lockdown that forced us into the house for a long time, together with the growing fear about the future, the worries related to family and work: sleep was certainly the most affected.
The quarantine, more than anything, has increased the appearance of sleep disorders to the point of prompting some associations, such as Aims (Italian Association of Sleep Medicine), to found consulting services.
Sleep Problems and Coronavirus: How Are They Linked?
During the months of the lockdown, sleep problems, such as insomnia and other disorders, increased due to an imbalance in the rhythms of the day.
It is well known that stress and anxiety can risk compromising sleep regularity. Furthermore, as explained by the head of the Sleep Medicine Center of the San Raffaele Hospital, Luigi Ferini-Strambi, the changes in the daily routine could be related to sleep problems.
Covid-19 has led us to upset our daily habits which risk ” upsetting our bio-rhythm “, as underlined by the experts. In addition to changes in habits, even less time spent outdoors can interfere with sleep balance.
In addition, the constant bombardment of information and news has contributed to increasing sleep disorders. Furthermore, the constant craving for information has given rise to a real disorder that is called ” Headline Stress Disorder “. How, then, to overcome stress and try to regain well-being through regular sleep?
Sleep problems: what to do to sleep better
As recommended by the head physician of the Center for Sleep Medicine, and also by the president of Aims, to regain the balance of sleep and return to sleep well, we must try to maintain rhythms as constant as possible and similar to those of “normality”.
Going to sleep and waking up following a certain constancy in the schedules, helps to fall asleep and reduces disturbances. Other good habits suggested to avoid insomnia and other sleep disorders are to avoid prolonged afternoon naps that should not last more than 15 or 20 minutes .
One of the incorrect habits, and therefore, to be avoided, is to sleep with your mobile phone next to you, receiving notifications during sleep could, in fact, make us wake up. Furthermore, the use of smartphones before going to sleep seems to be related to the difficulty in falling asleep, also due to the brightness of the screen.
Furthermore, as in all cases of insomnia, and not only for the particular situation of the moment, it is good to reduce the consumption of coffee and the like, preferring instead foods that promote sleep . In this regard, it is better to avoid meals that are too abundant (especially if rich in protein) at dinner.