Experts say pandemic insomnia has mental health effect

Samica Knight Image
Thursday, December 17, 2020
Here's how to handle pandemic insomnia
Have you noticed a serious change in your sleep pattern since the pandemic begun? Experts say these few steps could get you back on track in no time.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- If you're having trouble sleeping, new research says you can probably blame the pandemic.

Experts say pandemic insomnia is soaring, and that difficulty sleeping is the most common mental health effect people are dealing with.

Researchers from the University of Ottawa in Canada gathered 190,000 people, including survivors, family members and health care workers affected by COVID-19 to evaluate their mental health.

Almost one out of four of those affected by COVID-19 reported experiencing insomnia.

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There's a ton of sleep remedies but, which ones actually work?

Those researchers said if you find yourself becoming a night owl, here are 5 tips to help you sleep better:

Start the day off right

Waking up at the same time every day is an important way to create a reliable rhythm. If you wake up early on weekdays and sleep in on the weekends, you are putting yourself in a state of perpetual jet lag.

Energize early, not late

Try to get 30 to 40 minutes of bright light exposure first thing in the morning to show your body's internal clock the day has begun. Daily exercise is a great way to ensure we feel sleepy at bedtime, but don't exercise too late.

SEE ALSO: Kids having trouble sleeping? This could be why

Virtual learning may be necessary right now because of the pandemic, but it may be affecting your child's sleep. Here is why.

Prepare for bed

Start winding down as soon as the sun starts to set. Limit screen time within an hour of bedtime, wear blue-light-blocking glasses and consider adding an app like F.lux, which filters out the bright blue light.

Create a sleep sanctuary

For best sleep, the bedroom should be cool and pitch-black. Remove TVs and computers, and avoid working in bed.

And if all else fails, see your doctor to get to the root of the problem.

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