Friday is World Sleep Day! This week, we will be discussing all things related to sleep from a global perspective. Our previous World Sleep day article touched on the importance of sleep health and examined some of the most common sleep disorders. Here, we will provide a global snapshot of the current state of sleep in COVID-19 and share tips that will help you develop better sleep habits.
How has COVID-19 affected global sleep patterns?
The world is currently experiencing an unprecedented pandemic that has impacted almost every part of life, including our sleep. Although it may seem like we are navigating the pandemic with tunnel vision, the thought of how the rest of the world is faring in these times may have crossed your mind. Although data shows that the quality of our sleep during this time is less than ideal, we appear to be sleeping more, and longer than usual. Not only are we sleeping longer, but it appears that we are going to bed later as well. A study completed by a Columbia University physicist reported that New York residents, in particular, are using up to 25% more energy, including at night. This could be linked to a 16 million user surge in Netflix subscriptions, as global lockdowns push people to seek more ways to stay entertained. With a wide range of movies and television series readily available at our fingertips, it’s easy to get carried away with late night binge-watching, but we need to think about whether the extra episodes are worth dealing with increased fatigue and poorer sleep quality.
If you have been recalling extra vivid dreams lately, you’re not alone. Dream experts researching the phenomenon internationally are linking our strange dreams to a lack of stimulation from staying at home for extended periods of time. With so little activity going on in our environments, our subconscious mind has no choice but to draw on events from the past. Stress, isolation and anxiety may be determinants for the sometimes unsettling content of our dreams.
What factors are contributing to irregular sleep patterns in the midst of COVID-19?
An American study conducted by Best Mattress revealed that 22% of its respondents believe that COVID-19 worsened their sleep quality. When prompted to explain why they came to that conclusion, 14% of people said that their fear of contracting the illness got in the way of their sleep. Millions of people worldwide suffered from insomnia before coronavirus, but the reality of nationwide lockdowns and harrowing statistics has presented a whole new set of challenges. For many, navigating such uncharted territory has produced heightened anxiety around finances, social isolation, and family obligations. What will the state of the economy look like after the pandemic? Are we financially stable enough to get through these times? Is it safe to send the children back to school? Questions like these, while valid, have led many to worry almost incessantly about what the future holds. As a result, the body begins to produce and release the stress hormone, cortisol which can increase a person’s blood pressure and lead to insomnia.
COVD-19 and Sleep: A Global Snapshot
- On an international scale, The French appear to take the lead when it comes to getting more sleep in the pandemic, with 20 extra minutes each night. Germany, on the other hand, trails behind with only 8 extra minutes.
- 15% of respondents in an ongoing study launched by the Lyon Neuroscience Research Centre in France reported that they were experiencing more negative dreams than usual
- A third of Britons are waking up without an alarm in the morning. Wake-up times have shifted from 6:18 AM to 7:08 AM
Tips for Better Sleep
Although we are faced with an increasingly uncertain future, rest assured that there are strategies and habits that can be adopted to preserve your sleep and well-being.
Get rid of all distractions
Set all of your electronic devices aside to ensure that your sleep is uninterrupted. Try to cut off screen time at least an hour before bed.
Establish a sleep schedule
Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – even on weekends. Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule can help the body determine its natural rhythm and maintain a sleep-wake cycle.
Get some exercise
Opting for moderate exercise like brisk walking and aerobics during the day can help with reducing the time it takes for you to fall asleep. Try to avoid vigorous exercise an hour or two before bedtime.
Do a wind-down activity
Set some time aside before bed to engage in a soothing pre-bedtime routine. Swap the phone or iPad for a book, do some light stretching, play soft sleep music in the background, or end your day with a relaxing meditation.
Maintaining a healthy diet can promote a good night’s sleep. Be mindful of your caffeine and alcohol intake, as they can disrupt the quality of your slumber.
Make Zenbev a part of your sleep routine
Every now and then, (even after practicing a pre-bedtime routine), we may find ourselves having a hard time falling and remaining asleep. Sleeping pills don’t always cut it and can sometimes leave us furiously tossing and turning in bed. If you find yourself in this situation, opting for a natural sleep remedy may be the solution. Zenbev is a safe, natural sleep aid that allows for the body to produce its own melatonin, promoting restful and healthy sleep.
At Zenbev, we believe that it is never too late to invest in your sleep. In these difficult times, you owe it to yourself to unlock the high-quality sleep that you have been missing out on. Kickstart your sleep journey with Zenbev today.