The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the lives of Americans, including their ability to sleep. Sleep is absolutely a part of mental health, yet it is one of the areas where people are feeling the worst effects of pandemic stresses. A study covered by the article asked 2,000 Americans what they felt was the most stressful aspect of the pandemic, and four out of 10 said that where they were experiencing the most stress was in their altered sleep schedules. To put that in perspective, nearly half of all participants said their ability to sleep was adversely affected. A majority of those surveyed (78%) said that their mental health was affected by how well they slept, compared to 60% who said that the news cycle related to COVIC-19 was adversely affecting their mental health. As a result of the negative effect the news was having on people prior to going to sleep, 57% of those who responded said they no longer watch the news close to bedtime. Working from home has been another contributor to having trouble sleeping.
As more people work from home, they are finding it harder to keep work within set hours, leading to interruptions in their sleep schedule. Parenting during lockdown has also proven particularly difficult as it can be hard to get children to sleep due to the changes to the regular schedule. People have been trying several different means to improve their sleep with changes in diet and an increase in exercise being among the most popular ways of ensuring they can sleep better. Reading, listening to music, and taking a warm bath before sleeping are other methods to try to ensure they get to sleep on a schedule and that they sleep well.
If you have found yourself having issues sleeping, you can see a full list of things people reported trying in the name of better sleep at How Has the Pandemic Affected Americans’ Sleep?