The global pandemic has deranged and upended so many of life’s routines. It was only inevitable that sleep would follow suit. Roughly seven months into the life-changing aspects of mask wearing and social distancing, the American Medical Association has come out with its own list of “six things doctors wish patients knew about ‘coronasomnia.’”
“We’re a society that has a lot of trouble with sleep in general. Now we’re in a situation where with the amount of anxiety and stress, there’s no doubt that it interferes with sleep,” says AMA member Ilene Rosen, MD, MSCE, a sleep medicine physician and associate professor of clinical medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the article by Sara Berg. “‘Coronasomnia’ is the term used for sleep problems related to the pandemic. It is the impact of the uncertainty and the barrage of information that we are getting.”
The six tips amount to a list of best practices designed to get sleep back on track for patients who are suffering from stress-related insomnia caused by life-changing aspects of the virus.
The six facts the AMA thinks patients should know are:
1) Get bright light early, defined as sunlight or bright light in the first one or two hours after waking up.
2) Give your system a break, which means exercising a bit earlier in the day instead of late at night.
3) Importance of a clear mind refers to organizing thoughts and even writing them down.
4) Know how news adds to anxiety, so don’t consult news sources right before you go to bed.
5) Know that the right kind of noise, such as a sound machine, can help. 6) Know why alcohol will not work to improve sleep.