As COVID-19 continues to impact our lives, the number of people suffering from insomnia increases. However, this is to be expected, as insomnia can often be caused by significant and stressful life changes, such as job loss. Let’s check out some other causes of acute, or temporary insomnia and what you can do to help combat it.
Causes of Insomnia
After being let go from your job and required to stay in your house due to the coronavirus mandates, you find yourself bored and without a daily routine, staying up all night and sleeping throughout the day. This throws your body off of its natural rhythm, or Circadian rhythm, making it difficult to sleep during your usual sleeping schedule.
Without work, friends, and even just going out shopping to keep you busy, you’ve most likely been spending a lot of time on electronics, whether it be playing video games, video chatting with friends, or online shopping on your laptop. This increase in screen time stimulates your brain and can negatively affect your ability to fall asleep. Using electronics close to bedtime also exposes you to blue light, which can suppress your body’s natural production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
While those causes can be easily remedied, there are a few that are a little harder to overcome, including anxiety, depression, and other mental afflictions. Worrying when or if you will return to work has probably been on your mind for a majority of the quarantine, leaving you to wonder how you will provide for your family.
With stay-at-home orders still in place in some counties, it’s easy to feel isolated and disconnected. Having vacations and parties canceled when you had been looking forward to them isn’t helping either. With all of this negativity around us, many of us are susceptible to falling into a depressive state, often leading to poor sleeping patterns.
As we mentioned earlier, insomnia can be temporary when caused by changes in your life. There are several treatments for insomnia and ways that you can stay physically and mentally healthy. But there are simple changes you can make in your daily routine to help combat insomnia caused by COVID-19 related issues. One thing that you can do is to stick to a sleeping schedule. Limit your screen time and be sure to stop using electronics at least an hour before you plan on going to bed.
When it comes to your bedroom, avoid spending too much time there during the day. If you’re working from home, have a dedicated space away from where you sleep. If you want to watch movies, watch them in your living room rather than in your bedroom. By staying out of your room during the day, your body will associate the room with sleep, helping you catch more Zs.
To get out of that funk you’ve been in, spend time outdoors if you can and soak up the sun. It will make you feel more energized and alert, and provide you with some fresh air to clear your head. Try going for a walk or some other form of exercise to keep active.
NOTE: Content included here is not medical advice, and only is intended as information for adults. Always consult with your health care professional before making changes to diet, exercise, medication, or before use of any product or device.