COVID-19 and lock-down brought with it amongst others social isolation, home-schooling, job insecurity, financial stressors, sickness and loss of loved ones, all of which led to increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sleep difficulties. 4,5
Although lock-down measures have been necessary to reduce the spread of the virus, they have had a high psychological cost on populations around the world. 1 An online survey in Italy reported that 57 % of participants experienced poor sleep quality, 42 % high stress, 32 % high anxiety and 8 % symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the initial lock-down period.1 In fact, a review of 55 studies conducted since the start of the pandemic have shown that depression is three times higher, anxiety four times higher and PTSD five times higher in a population affected by COVID-19 than in the general population.5
A recent study conducted in China has shown that even six months after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, three quarters of patients still had at least one symptom, with fatigue, muscle weakness, sleep difficulties, anxiety and depression being the most common.3 Reduced sleep quality negatively affects life satisfaction, health, and social and emotional well-being. 1 Poor sleep quality is also associated with increased susceptibility to viral infections and reduced efficacy of vaccinations.2 For these reasons, improving sleep quality to ensure a restful night’s sleep is important especially during a pandemic.
For more information on insomnia visit www.sleepless.co.za and download your free sleep diary.
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