Has your sleeping pattern changed since the beginning of lockdown? Here’s why

Woman suffering from insomnia. (Photo: Getty Images)
Woman suffering from insomnia. (Photo: Getty Images)

If your recent sleeping pattern isn’t making any sense during the lockdown, you’re not alone.

The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world completely upside down and affected all aspects of life, including our health, livelihoods, and much more.

With South Africans being instructed to stay at home, many are feeling isolated and anxious which has resulted in affected sleep patterns.

In order to function properly, one needs good-quality sleep. Some need about eight hours while some need much less, according to Mayo Clinic.

Losing one night of good sleep might make you feel agitated, but it isn’t a train wreck. However, prolonged lack of quality sleep can disrupt the immune system and have a significant impact on your mood.

Millions of people suffered from insomnia before the coronavirus and unfortunately the pandemic creates a large number of new challenges, even for those who don't have a history of disrupted sleeping patterns, according to the Sleep Foundation.

The underlying stress or anxiety becomes a  factor responsible for many people experiencing disrupted sleep patterns during the pandemic, Sky News reports.  

Woman suffering from insomnia
Woman suffering from insomnia. (Photo: Getty Images)

So how do we avoid sleepless nights? It all comes down to a solid sleep routine and natural sunlight, according to Professor Colin A Espie, professor of sleep medicine at Oxford University.

“We use daylight as a thing that trains our 24-hour body clock,” Professor Espie says.

“People are getting less daylight and not getting up as early. That loss of light and change of habit allows the body clock to drift and can lead to a sense of malaise.

“It's important to maintain a routine and to get daylight. This means get up at your usual time, unless it was very early, getting dressed and so on.

“This helps keep the rhythm, and if you do your exercise outside, do it early in the day to make the most of the outside light early on.”

Sources: Sleep Foundation, Sky News, Mayo Clinic, BBC

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