The Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) started in Wuhan, China but quickly spread all over the world killing thousands of people and affecting many more lives. At the time of writing, the SARS-Cov-2 virus has killed over 24 thousand people and there are currently over half a million confirmed cases of the virus. Over 120,000 people have recovered as of 27th March but the number of cases is still on the rise as healthcare professionals struggle to keep up with the growing pandemic.
The economy of many nations has taken a plunge and many people around the globe are losing their sleep due to the disruptions caused in social, personal, and work life. Let us discuss how this pandemic is affecting your sleep and what you can do to fix this situation.
How Novel Coronavirus pandemic is affecting your sleep quality
It is normal for people to lose their sleep during a pandemic. After all, every pandemic in the history of the world has affected the lives of countless people negatively. However, during these desperate times, we must practice caution and only listen to the warnings provided by and the guidelines recommended by healthcare professionals such as doctors and scientists.
Believing in rumors and spreading them without any proof does more harm than good and can be the cause of many sleepless nights. Here are 5 ways the Coronavirus pandemic is affecting the sleep of thousands of people:
1. Anxiety and fear among people - The Novel Coronavirus disease a.k.a COVID-19 has caught every nation by surprise. Initially, many people assumed that the virus only proved deadly to the elderly and people with health conditions related to the heart or lungs. However, new facts have proved that the virus can severely affect and kill healthy people in their middle age group and even young adults. Most importantly, it is much more contagious than the common cold or flu. Also, some people infected with the virus show no symptoms of the disease and spread the virus without their knowledge. When people live in constant fear of experiencing severe health impairment or getting killed, it causes their stress levels to rise and pushes them into panic mode. This affects their sleeping cycle and results in poor quality sleep.
2. Disruption of the social order - During this pandemic, people are required to stay at home quarantine for an uncertain number of days. The situation is changing every day and the duration of home quarantine is increasing with it. Everything from schools, colleges, and universities to unessential stores, business organizations, and institutions are on lockdown. People are afraid to go out of their homes due to the fear of contracting the virus and also because of facing legal action such as jail time or a beating from the police. Still, you can find people on the streets trying to buy essential products that they couldn’t purchase before even in this chaos. Many people have lost their jobs, some temporarily and some permanently. Others are required to work from home. Such a massive disruption in the social order and economic conditions has put people on the edge of their seats. Moreover, many people have started hoarding grocery and other products due to panic which has resulted in the shortage of supply of products and an increase in their prices. When things don’t go, as usual, many people lose their sleep at night.
3. Change in routine - The global novel coronavirus outbreak has caused people to stay indoors and this has changed the routine. If you don’t wake up and go to sleep at the same time of the day, it can cause insomnia and degrade the quality of your sleep. When you stay at home, you have better access to coffee, nicotine, and alcohol, all of which are known to reduce sleep quality. Since you are not allowed to roam outside, you don’t get adequately exposed to the natural light outside which is known to promote wakefulness during the day and necessary to stabilize the circadian rhythm so that you can sleep well during the night.
4. More time spent with electronics - Staying at home means you have unlimited access to electronic gadgets like TV, laptops, PC, or smartphone. Whether you are using these electronic gadgets to check the news, work purpose, or pure entertainment, using them at night can adversely affect the quality of your sleep because they emit blue light.
5. Not maintaining sleep hygiene - Sleep hygiene is not just keeping your bedroom, bed sheets, mattress, and pillows clean, or taking a bath and changing into a clean set of clothes before going to bed. It’s much more than that. It’s a combination of different practices, behaviors, habits, and rituals that affects the onset of sleep and the quality of your sleep.
For example, watching a scary movie before going to sleep is considered practicing bad sleep hygiene because it can keep you up at night. Similarly, consuming food that can trigger indigestion before you hit the bed is a bad habit as it can cause acid reflux and prevent you from enjoying a good sleep.
However, sleeping on a mattress that is suitable for your body type or in a room with the perfect temperature for falling asleep is considered good sleep hygiene as these habits promote sleep.
Cleanliness is also an extremely important factor in sleep hygiene. An untidy room and bed wear can smell and even cause allergies preventing you from enjoying a good night’s sleep. When you stay at home for a longer duration of the day, your room becomes more untidy and requires more frequent cleaning. You can use a mattress protector for quick and easy sanitization.
How bad sleeping patterns can affect your health
Getting enough sleep every day is incredibly important for the proper functioning of the body. Otherwise, you can suffer from several health issues including high blood pressure, weight gain, and a weakened immune system. Typically, it is advisable to sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours each day to avoid any problems related to sleep deprivation.
Let us look into more detail on how sleep affects the functioning of the different systems in our body below:
1. The effects of sleep deprivation on the immune system - Our immune system protects us from the infections and diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. When you get enough sleep every day, your immune system works optimally and significantly lowers the risk of diseases and infections.
When your immune system works normally, it quickly identifies harmful invaders inside our bodies such as parasites, fungi, bacteria, and viruses and develops antibodies to fight off each specific invader. However, a lack of sleep can delay this process as the immune system cannot work at its best.
Proper sleep is also necessary for the production of the cytokine protein. The molecules help your immune system to guide antibodies to infection sites by improving response time to harmful pathogens and encouraging better cell-to-cell communication.
According to a research, those who sleep for 7-8 hours every day have better T Cell count, T Cell response time, and T Cell function. T Cells are a type of white blood cells and an important part of the immune system as they help to destroy intracellular pathogens i.e cells that have been infected by a virus such as HIV, flu, herpes. They are also responsible for killing cancer cells.
2. The effects of sleep deprivation on the central nervous system - Chronic insomnia can disrupt the function of your central nervous system which is extremely important for your well being. If your central nervous system gets impaired, it can cause depression, paranoia, impulsive behavior, and affect the functioning of other systems in your body including the immune system.
3. The effects of sleep deprivation on the respiratory system - The symptoms of existing respiratory diseases such as chronic lung illness can become worse due to sleep deprivation. You don’t want that to happen because it can make your body weaker and make you more susceptible to getting ill. So, you ought to keep your respiratory system in the best condition.
4. The effects of sleep deprivation on the cardiovascular system - Sleep deprivation can also affect your cardiovascular system because the blood vessels in your body heal while you are sleeping. People who have a compromised cardiovascular system are at an increased risk of getting severely affected if they become ill. So, you want your heart to stay in it’s best condition.
How a good mattress can help you combat the corona pandemic anxiety
Sleeping is not a cure for any kind of disease but it can prepare your immune system to combat various kinds of diseases and give you a real fighting chance. When your immune system actively works to cure a disease by fighting germs, you come down with a fever. When you are sleeping, you get a better fever response. That is why the temperature of your body spikes when you are sleeping at night. Fever creates a suitable environment for our immune cells to fight off dangerous microorganisms and prevent their spread throughout the body.
However, if you don’t sleep well, the fever response won’t prime and your immune system would not work at its best. Thus, it’s crucial to get better sleep when you are ill. If you have difficulty falling asleep at night, one of the reasons can be a mattress that is not suited for your body type. A good mattress will accommodate the weight of your body perfectly and allow you to sleep well at night. As a result, you will stay healthy most of the time and get cured sooner when you get ill.
Now that you have learned how a good mattress can help you sleep better and how sleeping helps you to stay strong, we hope you are not as anxious as you might have been before.
It is not easy to select the perfect mattress for your body types as there are a lot of options available on the internet and most of them can seem tempting for different reasons. Salesmen or retailers may not be able to cater to your specific needs and things get more complicated if you suffer from back pain or issues like insomnia. In such a case, the best solution is to know your SleepID.
Once you know your SleepID, you can use it to browse mattresses that serve your sleeping habits and are suitable for your body type. Once you find your ideal mattress, you would be able to sleep much more comfortably and even get rid of the problems associated with sleep loss. Consequently, it will help you nurture a healthy immune system and reduce the risk of contracting the flu and common cold.
Whether you are a boomer, millennial, or belong to Gen X or Gen Z, none of us have ever experienced a pandemic and social disruption of this scale. We have only read about such incidents in our history books or watched documentaries to learn more about such subjects. Now, all of us are living it and this event will undoubtedly be recorded in future history books. We are all in it together and we must all work together to win this war against this deadly disease. Almost every nation is striving to keep its citizens safe by limiting the spread of the virus, taking care of the already infected individuals, and conducting research to develop a cure.
Healthcare professionals such as doctors and nurses are on the frontlines trying to get this situation under control. So, we must do our best to stay healthy and prevent other people from getting infected. That means, staying at home quarantine, eating healthy, sleeping well, and being a responsible human being. It is the only way to flatten the curve. If more people get infected than what the healthcare system of your country can handle, the situation will get out of hand.
So, take care of your sleep hygiene and sleep on a good mattress to enjoy better sleep and stay healthy. If you cannot sleep well due to anxiety, follow the suggestions mentioned in this article. And, if you notice any symptoms of the diseases, strictly maintain social distance and test yourself to confirm whether you have the virus or not.