How is coronavirus affecting sleep?

These are strange times.  We are schooling from home and working from home.  One would think that would be helpful for sleep. It may be for some.  It might not be for others. I think most of us can agree that the coronavirus pandemic has changed our schedules.  Even if you are still going to work, your commute time is probably less because there are fewer people on the roads. How could your sleep be worse?

The most obvious answer is anxiety.  The anxiety I have witnessed in my office these past few weeks has been palpable. The early estimates regarding the coronavirus predicted millions dead in the US.  Economic outlooks now have tens of millions of people out of work in our country.  If you are dealing with anxiety right now you are not abnormal.  You are normal.  Anxiety is the biggest sleep stealer in the US and there is plenty of it to go around. Anxiety was designed to prevent sleep in humans.

Thousands of years ago, if you did not experience anxiety when a predator was around you did not live to reproduce. Humans with anxiety are a product of natural selection. While anxiety is not necessarily a bad thing it can lead to bad sleep habits. Anxious people stay up later.  They have more difficulty falling back to sleep. This can lead to later wake times and more napping which leads to even more problems falling asleep at night. The cycle feeds on itself.  Next thing you know you develop this belief you cannot sleep. This leads to sedative prescriptions and increased alcohol use which leads to hangovers and worse sleep quality.

If the risk of the virus on your health or financial well being does not impact your sleep, you may be affected indirectly. Since my kids are not in school they stay up later.  I want to stay up later.  The house is noisy. I am still getting up at the same time to go to work.

Are you experiencing insomnia because of anxiety?  Don't ignore it.  Address it. I am by no means a mental health expert but know some good ones that are willing to do televisits.  Experiencing insomnia with coronavirus? Click here for a review of good sleep habits and how to increase sleep drive.   If that does not work reach out to us for help.