Everything You Need to Know About Coronasomnia

Everything You Need to Know About Coronasomnia

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has affected many aspects of our lives, from how we work to how we spend our free time. However, many aren’t aware that COVID-19 has also affected our sleep.

Namely, more and more people are reporting sleep issues. Precisely speaking, about four in ten people experienced trouble sleeping during the pandemic. Experts named this phenomenon ‘coronasomnia’, a combination of coronavirus and insomnia. To learn more about it, just continue reading.

Coronasomnia Basics

Coronasomnia is a phenomenon characterized by increased sleep issues during the coronavirus pandemic accompanied by symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. It differs from insomnia because sleeping issues are directly linked to the coronavirus. In other words, people experience trouble sleeping as a result of financial stress, emotional stress, social distancing, unpredictability, professional concerns, etc., all triggered by COVID-19.

Coronasomnia Symptoms

As the name suggests, people with coronasomnia typically have the same symptoms as insomnia patients including difficulty falling and staying asleep. Apart from these traditional symptoms, coronasomnia is also linked with the following:

  • Increased stress levels
  • Signs of anxiety and depression
  • Delayed sleep patterns
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Poor concentration and focus
  • Poor mood

Studies show that during the pandemic people spent less time sleeping at night and more time during the day. What’s more, they also pushed back their bedtimes by about 40 minutes and wake times by around 60 minutes. These changes resulted in poor sleep quality.

Coronasomnia Risk Factors

The truth is that, unfortunately, anyone can develop coronasomnia. But, specific groups of people are at a higher risk of suffering from the condition, including:

  • COVID-19 patients
  • Frontline workers
  • Essential workers
  • Unpaid caregivers
  • Young adults
  • People of color
  • Women

Coronasomnia Causes

We’ve already mentioned how the coronavirus pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives so it’s no wonder it affected our sleep quality. In short, the following coronavirus-related issues are the most to blame:

Increased Stress

Even the daily emotional stress we experience can affect our sleep schedules and reduce restorative slow-wave sleep. But, major stressful events such as a worldwide pandemic can cause sleep issues that last for months, and even for years. Indeed, people experience not only reduced slow-wave sleep but also experience an increase in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep as well as an increased risk of frequent nighttime awakenings.

Loss of Daily Routines

The COVID-19 pandemic has eliminated numerous everyday parts of our lives such as hobbies and social events as a result of the social distancing guidelines which lead to social isolation and mental health issues. Why is this important for sleep? Namely, all these normal daily activities like commutes, exercise, meals, social events, etc., are all time markers related to sleep as they help our circadian rhythms.

Increased Media Consumption

As we all wanted to keep up with the latest COVID-19 information, people spent hours if not the entire day in front of TVs, computers, or on their mobile phones. Plus, people followed a larger range of news sources and different types of media. Consequently, this increased media consumption led to mental health issues as the news was typically bad and upsetting. And, as they would increase their media consumption close to bedtime, their sleep suffered too.

To sum up, coronasomnia can affect everyone. Fortunately, there are several strategies to help you combat this phenomenon, including establishing better sleep hygiene and consistent daily routines and relieving stress.