Digital Exclusive: Dealing with too much stress can cause pandemic insomnia

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A recent study from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that 36% of participants said coronavirus-related worry or stress has led to problems with their sleep.

Health officials reported pandemic insomnia is a side effect due to dealing with so much stress because of COVID-19 and started showing up nationwide a couple of months ago.

“Normal patterns of daily living have been interrupted, and people actually may be sleeping in too much. People are home more, and they’re not getting out. They’re not getting exercising the way they use to,” said Dr. Michael Piplani, M.D., Siouxland Community Health Center.

Dr. Michael Piplani, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at the Siouxland Community Health Center, said some of his patients are having trouble getting to sleep, sleeping too much, or experiencing night terrors.

Some ways to cope with pandemic insomnia are having a daily routine for sleeping and getting exercise earlier in the day before you go to bed.

“Have certain rituals where you kind of start slowing down your day. It’s very important not to have screens in your bedroom, so you shouldn’t be looking at your phone hours before going to bed. Ideally, you would be reading a book because that’s calming,” said Dr. Piplani.

Dr. Piplani mentions people may be self-medicating with alcohol and sleeping pills, which makes the problem worse.

The CDC recommends everyone needs seven to nine hours of sleep every night in order to get a good night’s sleep.


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