HEALTH: HOW SLEEP HAS CHANGED DURING COVID-19

From the Wall Street Journal (June 1, 2020):

The biggest problem has been staying asleep,” says Philip Muskin, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. “People aren’t exercising, their days have no structure at all.”

Preliminary results from a survey taken by around 1,600 people from 60 countries show that 46% reported poor sleep during the pandemic, while only 25% said they had slept poorly before it, according to Melinda Jackson, a senior lecturer at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health at Monash University in Melbourne, who studies how stressful events affect people’s sleep. Forty percent also reported increased alcohol consumption.

The key is to prevent the sleep problem from becoming chronic, she says. It is important to avoid associating your bed or bedroom with a place where you are awake. Experts recommend that if you can’t fall asleep, or wake up in the middle of the night and are unable to go back to sleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing.

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