Just when clinicians in the United States thought the COVID-19 explosion might be fading, new shock waves popped up in hot spots throughout the country. Physical problems are still numerous, but psychological consequences are also inevitable.
Within this framework, sleep becomes a mode of being that keenly affects the physical and the mental. Psychologists are recognizing the importance of sleep, as evidenced by numerous articles such as the one that appeared in the July 13 issue of Psychology Today.
“Communities and researchers across the globe are beginning to study how the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent social distancing has impacted psychological and emotional well-being,” writes Jutta Joorman, PhD, professor of Psychology, Yale University in The Importance of Sleep During COVID-19. “The practice of quarantine has been essential in limiting the spread of the Coronavirus within the United States and across the globe. Although it is necessary as a public health measure, it does create an unnatural environment for both our body and brain (Cacipoppo et al., 2014).”
Joorman contends that part of the answer may be to encourage healthy sleep, particularly in quarantined youth. “While it may seem like a common-sense answer, our brain can play a critical role in helping us function effectively during the stress of isolation (Richardson et al., 2019),” she writes. “Adequate rest is critical for many physical functions, but what may be less known is that it is particularly important for controlling or regulating our emotions (Richardson et al., 2019).”