How to get restful sleep during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 5:04 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - If you feel like COVID-19 has turned your life upside down, chances are you’re not alone.

Seventy-four percent of Americans claim the pandemic has caused “major changes” to their daily lives, a recent poll shows.

Doctors say one area suffering at the hands of the deadly virus is bedtime.

“It is really affecting our life in each direction, so we are normal human beings, so we are going to react,” said Dr. Lo’ay Al-Asadi, a sleep specialist with CAMC.

Dr. Al-Asadi says it is completely normal to feel stress and anxiety during the pandemic, it is also normal for those feelings to follow you to the bedroom.

He saw similar effects on sleeping patterns after 9/11, describing it as a reaction related to post-traumatic stress disorder.

While there is no end to the pandemic in sight, there are small changes you can make that will help you at bedtime.

Dr. Al-Asadi says a warm shower, and a cool dark room is a good place to start. With working from home and virtual learning becoming the norm for families, he suggests giving devices a break 30 to 60 minutes before bed.

Experts say adults need eight hours of sleep each night, teenagers need around 10. Missing out on sleep at night could affect the body down the road.

Dr. Al-Asadi says missing more than five hours of sleep can put can increase the rate of getting an infection five times.

He also acknowledges how hard everything is during the pandemic, saying he knows that getting back to normal programming can be tough. But he encourages people to try their best to get back to the normal nighttime schedule.

Copyright 2020 WSAZ. All rights reserved.

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