The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has, without a doubt, negatively impacted our lives for the most part. Not only did the virus pose a direct threat to our physical health, but it also upended the global economy and forced us indoors for an extended period of time which further disrupted the normal way of life. In addition to the financial and physiological health crises, the pandemic also interfered with our sleep-wake cycles giving rise to what the experts now refer to as ‘coronasomnia’.
Altered Work Culture
The advent of the pandemic saw us confined to our homes and leading lives as we did pre-COVID, except only within the four walls of the house. As terms such as ‘quarantine’ and ‘social distancing’ gained worldwide popularity, so did the ‘work from home’ setup. Although working or studying from the comfort of our homes saved us the time and the energy otherwise spent in getting ready and commuting to the office, it also inarguably altered the work culture and the necessary boundaries attached to it. The persistent uncertainty coupled with the unexpected global changes brought by the pandemic have had a significant impact on our sleep in the form of shorter bedtimes and insomnia.
Work commitments are one of the major reasons why people get inadequate sleep at night. The pandemic has worsened the situation, compelling people to take up remote work, further erasing the boundary between work and personal life, and increasing the cases of insomnia. The change in environment has had obvious impacts on our sleep hygiene, resulting in recalibrated circadian rhythms. Importantly, working from home has blurred the lines between fixed office hours and availability, negatively impacting a proper work-life balance. Workplace research conducted during the pandemic revealed that:
- 70% of employees work during weekends
- 45% work overtime during the weekdays to keep up with the mounting workload leading to inevitable burnout at work
- 40% of workers blame their burnout on the pandemic
Experiencing burnout at work, irrespective of whether you are working from home or the office can also alter your sleep patterns. Studies show that burnt-out employees tend to experience increased insomnia at night compared to others. Burnout can also lead to:
- high levels of stress
- increase in negative moods such as anger, frustration, and sadness
- weaker immune system.
Some of the sleep problems that have become more common due to the pandemic include:
- Insomnia (also referred to as ‘coronasomnia’)
- Stressful dreams
Health implications of sleeplessness
Lack of sleep can lead to a host of various other secondary problems. Doctors and other experts believe that less sleep leads to more health issues, including physical ailments such as diabetes, cardiac disease, and obesity. It directly affects mental health with lower levels of sleep, causing depression and anxiety among the public. It also leads to decreased concentration, increased mistakes at work, and adversely affects your moods.
Tips To Sleep Better During Covid
If you believe your work is impacting your sleep cycle as a consequence of the pandemic, there are certain measures you can take to ensure adequate sleep hygiene:
- Seek professional help
If you are experiencing lower levels of sleep during the pandemic, the best course of action would be to seek professional help. Visiting a doctor or a therapist can help you get the treatment you need to combat this problem. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an effective psychological treatment that can help you overcome sleep problems such as insomnia.
German researchers found that practicing self-care has helped people sleep better at night during the pandemic. It can be anything, including reading, listening to music, working out, practicing yoga, and even taking a short nap. Practicing self-care can help one relax and unwind at the end of the day or week. As a result, people go to bed calmer and more collected.
- Reduce screen time
Remote work has led to increased use of digital technology to communicate with our coworkers, superiors, and clients. While this may be unavoidable, minimizing screen time during bedtime instead of scrolling through your phone can help you sleep better at night.
- Invest in the future of your sleep
The necessity of a good bed to ensure a good night’s sleep is often understated and underestimated. Your bed is supposed to be where you can rest and recharge your mind and body after a long day of work. For this purpose, you must use the right mattress that best suits your sleep habits and affords you a comfortable, uninterrupted sleep at night. You can easily purchase the best quality mattresses in Dubai online.
The pandemic has changed our lives in unthinkable ways. Reset circadian rhythms, and increased insomnia cases continue to impact our mental and physical health during this crisis. However, diligently maintaining a proper work-life balance that involves following a strict sleep regime can help you cope with the stress of working during the pandemic. Using a high-quality mattress can help you achieve good sleep hygiene.