Coronasomnia is another side effect that has arisen as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Many have questioned as to what exactly is Coronasomnia. This new health problem has established itself to be a global problem. Coronasomnia refers to the inability of a person to fall asleep and to stay asleep. Coronasomnia also involves a poor quality of sleep throughout the pandemic.
With this week being Sleep Awareness Week, many have turned their attention to the new Coronavirus-related problem. Coronasomnia is the inability of a person to sleep due to stress that they may be experiencing during the pandemic. Researchers at the University of Arizona want to delve into the exact reasons that seem to heighten the problem.
According to sleep specialist Dr. Raj Dasgupta, who also works as an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, “You’re not alone, the novel coronavirus is making sleep more difficult for much of the world. ”
Though humans are notoriously known for never getting the required amount of sleep, the Coronavirus pandemic seems to have amplified the situation. The World Sleep Society is a nonprofit organization that works for the advancement in sleep health worldwide. The organization believes that “Sleep problems constitute a global epidemic that threatens health and quality of life for up to 45% of the world’s population.”
Dr. Bhanu Prakash Kolla who is a sleep medicine specialist in the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota explained the possible reasons for this problem that many are facing. Dr. Kolla stated that “there are multiple stresses with the pandemic — financial, healthcare–related, social isolation — all of which can impact sleep.”
In an attempt to help themselves fall asleep, people use the wrong methods and land up making the situation worse. The top mistakes that most people make are as follows.
Most of the world now has an increased screen time as compared to before the pandemic. With most jobs and classes being transferred to the online mode several people are exposed to blue screen light. According to USC’s Dasgupta, “The bright light of a TV, computer or smartphone can affect your sleep patterns and keep you alert when you should be getting sleepy.”
Sleep loss can also be credited to an increase in stress due to job loss, higher expectations during the pandemic time, frustration, and anxiety. Another cause for Coronasomnia could be the increase in alcohol consumption. “What people need to do is increase their physical activity during the day. They need to have social interactions,” said Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy who works at the University of Arizona School of Medicine.
According to Dr. Kolla, “As alcohol is metabolized it forms acetaldehyde, which is stimulating. Therefore if you drink too much alcohol right before going to bed, in about four hours it is converted to aldehyde which can disrupt sleep and wake you up.” Dr. Dasgupta explains that alcohol consumption also results in “frequent trips to the bathroom because it inhibits a hormone called anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), resulting in increased urination.” This leads to more cases of sleep loss or Coronasomnia.
Another one of the primary causes for loss of sleep during the pandemic is a lack of exercise. With Covid-19 safety restrictions as the norm, it is always easy for people to go out and exercise. Moreover, as every job, class nod meeting is held online people are faced with a heavier workload. This leaves them with less time to focus on exercise. According to the National Sleep Foundation, those who exercise are twice as likely to sleep well as compared to those who do not exercise.