As we all adapt to stay-at-home measures that vary in severity across the country, our sleep can take a big hit. Prescriptions to help those with insomnia have hit an all-time high during these COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, as anxiety and stress are keeping us awake. 

What’s causing this spike?

Recent research has shown that from February to March of 2020, insomnia prescriptions have increased by 21%. These prescriptions were on a steady decline, but once the World Health Organization announced a state of an emergency and declared that we were in fact in the midst of a global pandemic, numbers skyrocketed. 

When people experience high-stress situations, especially with something as unprecedented like COVID-19, our sleep schedules and patterns can be negatively impacted. When anxiety levels are high, our sleep becomes interrupted and fragmented. We lay awake in bed, thoughts racing all night long. We have bad dreams, we wake up constantly, we break out in a sweat.

All of these symptoms are anxiety-triggered reactions to COVID-19 news. Our bodies crave the recommended 7-9 hours, so when we are deprived of that sleep, we seek help! This spike in prescription drugs for insomnia is directly related to the news of COVID-19, and unfortunately without an end in sight, these numbers will continue to climb. 

How do we cope in isolation?

It is common knowledge that the proper amount of sleep each night is extremely important to a healthy lifestyle. In order to remain calm and sane among the unknown in today’s world, we need to keep our sleep schedule as a number one priority! Make sure that you speak with your doctor as soon as you notice that your sleep schedule is craving attention. Your doctor can help to create an individualized plan for you to follow to better yourself! 

With this forced isolation, people are feeling alone and lost. This is completely understandable! Stress is known to affect the neurotransmitters in your brain that allow for a restful sleep. With a disruption in your brain, your sleep schedule will definitely take the brunt of the impact. It is crucial to still head to bed at a reasonable time every night and attempt to go through the motions your doctor prescribes in order to get your full night’s sleep. Your body craves routine, and keeping one established during quarantine will help!

Stay strong

As always, reach out for help when you’re at a loss. If you are struggling with sleep, stress, anxiety, or any other illness, please ask your doctor for their input! We are here to help you. Times are tough for everyone, as we are living in a world with so many unknowns. Stay strong, and stay safe!

Contact Dr. Sara at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions in Scottsdale to learn more about sleep apnea and insomnia during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.