Almost ten months into a global pandemic, the 'new normal' looks very different from your life before the pre-pandemic.
You're working from home, you're cooking all your meals, after work you're squeezing your favorite activities indoors into your few hours of free time, and then you're going to bed, only to find yourself wide-awake. Every so often, you check the phone to realize it's late into the night, and sleep seems a distant reality. Welcome to the very real world of coronasomia.
The lack of sleep, 'insomnia', combined with the current pandemic, 'coronavirus' adds to the very real phenomenon, coronoasomia.
In an medical forum blog, an anonymous poster wrote, "I have no problem finding peaceful rest at night. Yet, for some reason my sleep patterns have regressed in recent months. I’ve had more and more restless nights, finding it hard to fall off to sleep until much later than I usually would."
Coronasomnia has also founds its way to Twitter, with
People are now suffering from coronasomia— Humphrey Mulenga (@zamulech) April 29, 2020
U weren’t the only one🙄 Coronasomia😷— Cherylyn Rush (@CherylynRush) April 11, 2020
But coronasomia doesn't just mean being irritated the next day because of lack of sleep, it also could potentially have more severe consequences. Prolonged coronasomia could declines in productivity, shorter fuses and increased risks of hypertension, depression and other health problems.
In fact, studies conducted in China, France and Italy have found that about 20% of people in pandemic-related shutdowns areas lost track of date and time. A poll on mental well-being in America by American Psychiatric Association found that 19% of respondents said that stress over coronavirus is interfering with their sleep.
A report by The University of Chicago of Medicine found that "elevated stress and an overload of information can keep the mind racing and elevate the body’s arousal system response, triggering insomnia."
The report also stated that loss of daytime structure can upset nighttime sleep schedules. Inconsistent bedtimes and wake times can shift the pressure, or urge, to sleep, making ability to fall asleep less predictable.
So what's the solution?
Dr. Diwakar Balachandran, a pulmonary and Sleep physician at M D Anderson Cancer Center, has tips to beat coronasomia.
Sticking to a consistent sleep-wake schedule, following a daily routine, engaging in light physical activity, keeping naps short and avoiding caffeine are some of the solutions to beating the phenomenon.
"COVID-19 won’t last forever," he says in the blog. "But the need for a good night’s sleep will never change."