CHENNAI: With 12,000 fresh Covid cases in India, including 300 cases in the state capital, today, it is likely to say that we are still living in the era of pandemic. A change in lifestyle behaviour due to the pandemic has resulted in pervasive psychosocial stress or any kind of psychological disorder among the people.
Studies show that these lifestyle changes have been impacted by the sleep factor and vice-versa. The lack of sleep results in chronic symptoms like anxiety, distress and depression is often referred to as covidsomnia or coronasomnia.
Coronasomnia, though it has similar symptoms of insomnia like stress, anxiety and depression, it is predominantly characterised by Covid pandemic.
With the advent of the pandemic, the causes of coronasomnia can be adduced to stress, anxiety, fear and insecurity associated with emotional, financial, social and professional concerns.
This results in serious symptoms of obtrusive thoughts, sleep deprivation, delayed or shifted sleep schedules and hindered concentration.
The risk of coronasomnia is increased to not only the patients with Covid, who are likely to have long Covid or persisting impacts of Covid, but also to different groups like frontline workers, women, young adults, unpaid or temporary employees, etc.
According to Sleep Foundation, the various symptoms of coronasomnia can be concentrated to major factors, viz. loss of daily routine and increased media consumption.
With the issue of social distancing and lockdown guidelines, a huge part of our social lives went to stake overnight, followed by disruption in our working, eating and sleeping schedules.
Also, staying indoors pushed us to be exposed to a multitude of media contents on real incidents that cannot be directly encountered outside the homes.
Consuming news media and obsession with frequent news updates, particularly about Covid has been associated with fear and anxiety. Alongside, increased screen time or over use of smart gadgets like laptops, mobile phones, etc. is also linked with shorter and disrupted sleep.
Working on our mental well-being is as important as maintain our physical health and the precautions we take for it.
Studies have shown that establishing a regular sleep schedule and improving better sleep habits like avoiding long naps, helps combat coronasomnia.
It is also essential to fix our lifestyle that has been abruptly disoriented by the advent of pandemic by creating normalcy in our daily routines, adapting to healthier habits and taking a break from the obsessive smart gadgets.