Good sleep has always been hard to come by for millions of people. However, sleep issues have skyrocketed since the onset of COVID-19. From fear of unemployment to a lack of a regular schedule to the dread of contracting the virus, there are many reasons that COVID-somnia has taken hold. No matter the reason, there are several causes for intervention.
For one, we need our beauty rest. Sleep is essential for our mood, immune system, and overall health. However, a recent report about COVID and insomnia from Neurology Today found that the use of prescription sleep medications has increased by 14.9% since 2019! Sleep-aids can become habit-forming and cause long-term unwanted side effects.
So, what is causing the uptick of COVID insomnia issues? How do we get more sleep naturally? Let’s discuss ways to manage COVID-somnia.
Is Insomnia a Symptom of COVID?
COVID-19 affects every individual differently. This fact is what has made diagnosing and preventing the spread of this virus so challenging.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), some of the leading symptoms of COVID-19 are lethargy, fatigue, and brain fog. These symptoms aren’t exactly synonymous with insomnia.
However, other symptoms of COVID-19 make sleep more difficult to accomplish. For example, achy joints, skin rashes, and feverish chills can make sleep near-impossible. These instances blur the lines between COVID and insomnia symptoms.
Does COVID Cause Insomnia?
Many people can experience discomfort from contracting COVID-19 for weeks. That can mean many sleepless nights for people.
Millions are showcasing symptoms of chronic insomnia, a condition where a person has trouble falling asleep within a half-hour of going to bed three times per week.
While there is no scientific evidence that points to COVID causing insomnia, it can indirectly create this pattern. Contracting COVID-19 can disrupt your sleep schedule to the point where you make a newer, unhealthier one.
Then, there are the people who are not diagnosed with COVID-19. The stress surrounding this virus is enough to cause someone to stay up all night.
Once again, COVID itself is not causing insomnia. However, its presence has taken up residence in the brains of millions. This lack of vacancy in the brain is enough to cause long-term sleep issues that can manifest into chronic insomnia.
Why Is There a COVID and Insomnia Connection?
There are many reasons for the simultaneous rise in cases of COVID and insomnia. The key to managing your sleep schedule during this pandemic is to recognize what is triggering your COVID insomnia issues.
With that knowledge, you can tailor your wellness routine to help manage the underlying concerns. Once you get a hold of the primary problem, you will have improved chances of getting a restful night’s sleep.
Change or Disruption in a Predictable Schedule
Shelter-in-place protocols have turned into the sleepover that will never end. We have everything we need within feet of us. So, we have become far less regimented since lockdowns have begun.
Prior to COVID-19, we allowed work to dictate our schedules. We would use work hours as our foundation and then fill in eating times, socialization, and sleep around it.
Now, we can work wherever we want, whenever we want. While this flexibility sounds like a luxury, it’s really hindering our work life balance.
Human cells have evolved to follow a circadian rhythm. It takes 24 hours for our cells to do all the necessary biological processes to keep us active and healthy humans. Much of that cycle relies on us.
Our cells need to predict what we’re doing so they can get their necessary work done. However, our broken sleep schedules have made us unpredictable. This change of pace has caused our immune system to be on higher alerts and
Instead of centering our days around work, we should now work around our sleep schedule. We need at least seven hours of sleep to function optimally. It’s essential to find which of these hours best meets our new schedule and fill in the gaps from there!
Too Many Devices
Our circadian rhythm is dictated by light. Light from the sun charges the pineal gland sitting between our eyes. This reaction prompts the body to create hormones that will propel us through the day, such as serotonin, GABA, and adrenaline.
As the sun goes down, we produce fewer of these hormones. Eventually, our pineal gland begins secreting melatonin, our sleep hormone. Melatonin helps us sleep through the night, initiating our deep sleep waves.
When the sun starts to come up, its ultraviolet rays will pierce through our windows and curtains. These tiny rays of light are still enough to stimulate our pineal gland through closed eyelids!
Eventually, we start to produce less melatonin. Our body switches over to serotonin and other feel-good hormones that will get us ready to start the day.
Unfortunately, our pineal glands have gotten really confused since the pandemic. We’re staying up all night binge-watching the latest new shows.
While this content is enough to ruin your sleep patterns because it’s keeping you awake, there’s even more going than meets the eye…literally.
Many smart devices emit blue wavelengths. These waves are easy on the eyes but horrible for our sleep cycles.
That’s because blue light mimics the light emitted from the sun when it’s rising. So, our pineal gland thinks we’re forever waking up every time we watch TV, scroll on our tablets, or play a game on our phones.
Lack of Daylight
Light is vital for optimal sleep. Sounds counterproductive, but light rays are what dictate your sleep-wake cycle. That’s why many studies link a lack of Vitamin D intake to insomnia.
The sun is our most abundant source of Vitamin D. This critical vitamin plays an essential role in so many physiological functions.
A meta-analysis spanning nine studies noted there was a direct correlation between a Vitamin D deficiency and:
- Poor Sleep Quality
- Short Sleep Duration
- Diminished Sleep
You would think that a lockdown would cause more people to go outside. However, it’s causing the opposite effect. The uncertainty of this virus has caused people to remain indoors, causing them to miss out on crucial sun and fresh air.
Sometimes our jobs and other factors prevent us from spending some much-needed quality time outdoors. These instances might call for a bit of supplemental support.
Studies show that olive leaf extract works in conjunction with Vitamin D to prevent respiratory illness in healthy people. Respiratory problems are some of the primary concerns surrounding COVID-19.
By using Tranquility Labs’ Olive Leaf Extract, you can help support your immune system. This all-natural formula will help you make the most of the little Vitamin D you do get. A balanced routine that includes Tranquility Labs’ Olive Leaf Extract will help pick up the slack of a Vitamin D deficiency and help you naturally even out your sleep cycles.
COVID-19 unemployment saw record numbers in 2020. Large-scale businesses and mom-and-pop shops are all suffering. That means all socioeconomic brackets are struggling financially or worrying about their financial future.
Prior to COVID and insomnia issues began, financial worries were the number one concern keeping people up at night. These concerns have not only grown since COVID-19, but they’ve practically become justified.
Humans are social beings. However, these unprecedented times have forced us to limit our interaction with others. Experts believe that this change in social relationships has caused a significant impact on our psyches.
Loneliness can spiral into several mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. All mental health issues can interrupt your sleep patterns.
That’s because our sleep patterns are regulated by hormones. As we mentioned, melatonin helps rock us to sleep. Meanwhile, serotonin helps wake us up.
When we endure chronic stress from social isolation, it can cause an uptick in cortisol hormones. Cortisol helps spark our fight-or-flight instincts. These are mammalian responses to stress.
While cortisol is excellent during our waking hours, we don’t need to be on alert at night. Thanks to COVID and insomnia, our minds are now wired to react at all times. So, we produce more cortisol and other excitatory hormones, like adrenaline.
When you fill the hormone tank up with cortisol, there is less room for melatonin. So, we carry these excess hormones with us into the night. Inevitably, too much cortisol will keep us awake.
Fear of the Virus
Fear is a life-disrupting emotion. One meta-analysis on sleep disorders and anxiety rationalized that fear is essential pathological anxiety. In today’s uncertain climate, there are a lot of things that might cause fear.
When we experience fear, it puts our psyche in a heightened state. Our stress hormones go into overdrive, producing excessive amounts of cortisol.
In a fear-based lifestyle, we’re waiting for the next bad thing to happen. In the case of those with COVID-somnia, that concern is contracting the coronavirus.
The Neurology Today report we referenced early also noted that this pandemic has caused an increase in nightmares. Vivid dreams can make bedtime a dreadful experience. Frequent encounters with nightmares can cause panic attacks while sleeping or evolve into somniphobia.
How to Improve COVID and Insomnia Problems
Insomnia COVID issues can disrupt a healthy and happy life. However, these concerns over “does COVID cause insomnia?” don’t need to define your existence. You can pull back the reins on your sleep schedule and get back on track. Here are some tips for battling COVID-somnia.
Make a Schedule and Stick to it
If there is one thing we can drill home, it’s the importance of maintaining a schedule. You should train your cells when to export food, exercise, and rest. So, try to keep these activities around the same time every day.
The most important thing you can do for your circadian rhythm is to get at least seven hours of sleep. Decide which hours in the night are the best for meeting that goal.
Then, plan your work schedule and meals. From there, fill in the gaps with other activities like exercise, social interactions, and self-care. COVID-19 changed how our day-to-day looks. Now it’s your turn to change the itinerary to meet your needs.
Cut Back on Media Content
Content has become our biggest crutch in this pandemic. There are more streaming services than ever and even more time on our hands to watch them.
For one, these streaming services add up. As we mentioned earlier, financial concerns are a primary cause of insomnia. With this shaky economy, you should reprioritize your spending habits, especially when it comes to entertainment.
Additionally, cut back on the news. The media and anxiety are made for one another. It’s the job of newscasters to perpetuate fear so that the audience relies on the media.
Don’t get us wrong; the media is an invaluable tool. Just watch the news once or twice per day. Stop refreshing your feed. You’re only cementing your fears into your mind. These concerns will crossover into the night when you’re trying to sleep.
Lastly, what are you watching this content on? Screens! Remember, blue screens can interrupt your natural circadian rhythm.
You usually started producing melatonin around two hours before your “regular” bedtime. Try to limit your screen time during that window. Instead, play a board game, read a book, or talk to your loved ones.
Support a Healthy Brain
Between brain waves to hormone production, our brains play a significant role in our sleep-wake-cycle. So, it’s crucial to protect this muscular organ as much as possible.
Missing out on sleep hurts our productivity and wellbeing. In turn, it can negatively affect our confidence, creativity, or focus. Instead of putting our brains through sleep-deprived pressure, we can support it with a healthy circulation of oxygenated blood.
Omega-3 fatty acids are rich in proteins that protect and maintain the integrity of grey matter. With proper omega-3 intake, neurons communicate more effectively. These essential fatty acids can also help repair tissue damage caused by inflammation.
One of the most beneficial sources of omega-3 fatty acids is fish oil. However, not all fish oil is created equal. You want the purest fish oil formulated with the highest standards.
Tranquility Labs’ CogniDHA is 84% pure omega-3 fatty acids. This all-natural formula gives your brain the support it needs to break through the brain fog caused by a rough night’s sleep.
Sometimes we put too much pressure on our sleep routine. We look at going to bed as a luxury instead of a necessity. Many of us wake up actively looking forward to going to sleep later that night!
Reward yourself during the day. Take moments to do activities that bring you joy. These thoughtful things can be anything from going for a jog, reading a book, or drawing a bath with essential oils.
Anytime you do something good for yourself, it lowers your cortisol levels. During the day, you will produce feel-good hormones that will counteract too many stress hormones. Then, you will enter the night with a clean slate for melatonin production to take control.
The only way to get over fears is to prepare for conquering them. A vaccine is now here and more people are becoming eligible for it. Naturally, COVID cases should go down. That alone, might be enough to help with your COVID insomnia troubles.
For many, the final step to conquering their fears will be to get vaccinated themselves. If you are in this boat, you are not alone. Millions are waiting for their turn.
In the meantime, know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Every time you feel anxiety over not getting a vaccine, implement deep breathing techniques.
If your mind really gets the best of you, consider a guided meditation. Do whatever you can to live in the present instead of worrying about the future. Carry these techniques with you as you go to bed.
Sleep-Fast Enhanced Melatonin Spray
Perhaps the most alarming realization over COVID insomnia is that it caused a growing reliance on sleep-aids. Many of these over-the-counter and prescription medications are habit-forming. In the case of some brands, like Ambien, people can make very bad decisions.
Sleep medications are not intended to be a long-term solution to insomnia. In fact, studies show that long-term use causes the effects to wear off. Instead, people are taking pharmaceuticals that can cause inflammation, damage organs, or make sleep problems worse!
Rather than opting for a habit-forming pharmaceutical, take an all-natural approach. Try Sleep-Fast Enhanced Melatonin Spray. This quick-acting supplement is fortified with melatonin that complements our natural sleep patterns.
It’s further enhanced with calming botanicals, such as chamomile and valerian root. These all-natural ingredients will help relax the mind and naturally lower cortisol levels. Their presence will work in sync with melatonin and your own natural melatonin production to ensure a blissful night’s sleep.
End COVID Insomnia
Hopefully, one day COVID and insomnia will be things of the past. Until then, we can’t ignore either. We must do our due diligence to ensure our health. That means continuing to social distance, washing our hands, wearing a mask, eating nutritious foods, and getting plenty of sleep.
Sleep medications are good when used as intended. However, they are very easy to abuse, especially when the effects begin to wear off. So, try to set yourself up for adequate sleep by making some lifestyle changes.
Cure COVID insomnia by limiting your screen time. Get on a schedule that follows the light patterns of the sun. Train your cells to get on your level by supplementing with Tranquility Labs’ CogniDHA Omega-3 Fish Oil during the day and Sleep-Fast Enhanced Melatonin Spray at night. Your friends, family, and cells will be glad you did!
- COVID insomnia cases have risen over the year
- Sleep-aid use has increased 14.8% in one year to combat COVID and insomnia issues
- Cut down on screen time, use melatonin spray, and manage your stress to improve COVID-somnia