Confinement With Coronavirus Does Not Prevent You From Sleeping
coronavirus make you sleepy? The question does not have a figurative but a literal meaning. The mandatory confinement situation can affect normal sleep rhythms and prevent restful sleep. Fortunately, there are measures available to everyone that can help us sleep well. After all, avoiding sleep problems and, above all, insomnia, is essential for physical and mental health.
Diego Redolar, professor of psychobiology and researcher at the Cognitive NeuroLab of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), stresses that lack of sleep due to sleeping fewer hours or with inadequate quality “has an impact on both cognitive and mental health aspects. If we sleep poorly we are more irritable, more anxious and in a more depressed mood. ”
The closure due to infection with the new coronavirus (the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19) raises unprecedented unknowns, but extrapolation from research on similar situations can serve as a guide. How can confinement affect sleep patterns?
Anyone Who Has A Problem With That Confinement With Coronavirus Does Not Prevent You From Sleeping Needs To Know One Thing
Some aspects of insulation at home affect the quantity and quality of sleep. Javier Puertas, vice president of the Spanish Sleep Society (SES), summarizes them in three: “Less exposure to natural light, reduced physical activity and loss of daily routines.”
Both natural light and exercise have a very important impact on the “regulation of sleep. Along with maintaining regular schedules, they act as synchronizers, that is, they are factors that give guidelines to the internal clock of our body to prepare it to sleep with hormones related to rest and so that when we get up the associated hormones increase. to the activity ”.
The human body has a biological clock that synchronizes with the rhythm of nature. It is governed by the circadian cycles of light and darkness, due to the rotation of the Earth in its path around the Sun. But there are more elements that put it on time in addition to the light signals, among which physical activity and regular schedules in daily routines, such as meals.
Spending a lot of time at home reduces exposure to light and the time and intensity of physical activity and this new situation can cause some chaos in meal times, work, children’s games, hours in front of television … “If we lose the synchronization of the internal clock, it will not give the hours adequately,” says Puerta. Your signal will be weaker, with the result of “poorer quality sleep and more tiredness during the day.” This will produce a paradox: “At home we are more tired than when we went to work.”
Redolar points to another factor related to the epidemic of the new coronavirus that can affect the normal rest of some people: “Confinement can generate anxiety and a feeling of lack of control over the situation, which can affect sleep.” This effect may be reflected in one or more of the following areas:
Greater difficulty falling asleep. More awakenings at night. Worse quality of sleep. Reduction of the total number of hours sleeping. “Brain reactions that respond to anxiety affect sleep,” says the scientist.
Experts offer guidelines for avoiding sleep deprivation during confinement. First of all, Redolar advises people who feel anxiety “strategies that increase the feeling that we are in control of the situation.” Emotional management of fear of the coronavirus and different techniques for coping with stressful situations can be of great help, and experts make the following recommendations both for those who suffer from psychological distress and for those confined by the coronavirus:
Follow daily routines to set our internal clock. “This way we can prevent sleep disorders that later are difficult to reverse,” warns Puertas. Getting up and going to bed at the same times, setting regular times for breakfast, lunch and dinner, eating properly, not staying in pajamas … Logically, the habits will not be the same as before confinement, but it is important to maintain the new routines that are adopt.
Be exposed to natural light for at least two hours in the morning. Depending on the characteristics and size of each house, you can go out on the balcony, have breakfast by the window, make sure that children play in rooms where natural light comes in… On the other hand, at night it is convenient to avoid, in the As much as possible, mobiles and tablets because the light they emit confuses the internal clock. Get regular physical exercise at home. There is no need to run; you can do weights, gymnastics, dances …
The expert in sleep medicine advises adopting “a relaxation routine at the end of the day that allows you to disconnect.” It doesn’t have to be a fancy ritual: a laugh movie, a good shower, or avoiding watching the news just before bedtime may suffice. Each person can find their ‘trick’.
Redolar considers it convenient to remember that, according to the data provided by studies on the effects of time changes and holidays, “children and the elderly are the most affected by the alteration in routines.”