COVID-19 & Sleep Patterns: Effects of a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down and affected pretty much every single aspect of our lives, including sleep patterns. Together with coronavirus, anxiety began to spread around the world, leaving people in distress. Sleeping, however, is crucial to our physical and mental wellbeing. Read on to learn how the pandemic has affected our sleep routine. 

Coronavirus & it's Severe Impact on Sleep

According to a survey conducted by the UK Sleep Council, 75% of the respondents pointed out that COVID-19 had impacted their sleep in a negative manner. The National Sleep Survey, released in late April, also revealed that more than 1 in 10 people were experiencing severe symptoms of depression. In addition, 77% of the surveyed people admitted that lack of sleep was interfering with their ability to function throughout the day.

Sleep Patterns During Lockdown 

A recent study, carried out by King´s College London in partnership with Ipsos MORI, states that the UK is struggling to sleep during lockdown. The survey, based on online interviews carried out in early April, reveals that the pandemic has impacted people differently. Women, young people, and those facing financial difficulties seem to be the most vulnerable demographic groups.

For many people in the UK, lockdown has resulted in disturbed sleep, insomnia, vivid dreams or even nightmares. However, a quarter of participants reported they were sleeping for longer and feeling better as a result. Truth be told, we don´t always get the chance to rest as much as we need, and this pandemic as helped some rediscover the importance of sleep.

Coronavirus: A Source of Stress

Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current COVID-19, can directly impact out mental health. According to a survey by Nuffield Health, 80% of Brits feel working from home has had a negative impact on their mental wellbeing, as many people feel unable to take a break and step away from their workstations. On top of that, Britons are more scared of the pandemic than the rest of the world, says the Telegraph.

Exercise for Restoring Sleep Patterns

The rules of the “New Norm” can pull our mental health into a damaging spiral. However, exercise is not just allowed, but encouraged by the government. Physical exercise can work wonders when it comes to reducing stress, lowering feelings of isolation and restoring sleep.

Any moderate to intense workout has a direct impact on mental wellbeing, not only by releasing endorphins, but also other chemicals that are known for boosting mood, such as dopamine, adrenaline, serotonin and myosin. In addition, making ourselves tired will result in a better sleep.

As long as it does not damage our bodies, there is no such thing as bad exercise, but summoning the motivation and the energy to workout is the first hurdle to overcome. Those who find hiking or running unrealistic, though, can simply benefit from a daily walk. A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that regularly walking for 60 minutes reduces the risk of major depression by 26%.