A survey of Australians last month showed that nearly half of 2000 respondents were sleeping poorly, and that 40% were meeting the criteria for insomnia (waking multiple times). For those affected, heavy alcohol consumption and late night phone usage was a factor in over a third of cases.

But a silver lining exists – for those with sleep issues before Covid, working at home with flexible work and life integration has actually improved sleep patterns for 42% of these patients. Sleep Health Foundation of Australia are highlighting this dichotomy – some are doing better than before, and others are suffering sleep issues for the first time. As the pandemic eases, it’s a good time to review and potentially reset our sleep patterns.

Our recommendations for improving sleep include:

  • Manage stress through exercise, relaxation, mindfulness, meditation, prayer and social activities
  • Spend time outdoors during the day and separate work areas from relaxation areas in the home (including your bed!)
  • Reduce exposure to stressful triggers, such as the news cycle or even panicky friends and family
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine, late night TV, computer and mobile phone screens; try chamomile tea and Magnesium
  • Ensure regular routine and bedtime, an even day and night rhythm, and favourable conditions for sleeping (dark room, cool and quiet)
  • Seek help from your GP or a clinical psychologist, especially if you have had to grieve from trauma or loss during the pandemic

Osana assesses sleep patterns and quality of sleep, plus screens for sleep apnoea as part of our standard health assessment. We also provide weekly neuro-psycho-immunology which is evidenced-based sessions to help you sleep.

References:

  • https://www.theage.com.au/national/not-so-sweet-dreams-why-so-many-australians-are-losing-sleep-during-covid-20200529-p54xom.html
  • https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-guidelines-covid-19-isolation
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-52311643
  • https://patient.info/news-and-features/covid-19-how-does-the-coronavirus-pandemic-affect-your-sleep
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/#:~:text=Chamomile%20is%20widely%20regarded%20as,and%20CNS%20depressant%20effects%20respectively
  • https://thesleepdoctor.com/2017/11/20/magnesium-effects-sleep/#:~:text=Research%20indicates%20supplemental%20magnesium%20can,relaxation%20as%20well%20as%20sleep
  • https://amerisleep.com/blog/optimize-bedroom-better-sleep/
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