Since coronavirus lockdown began on March 23, our lives have changed drastically.
Furlough, working from home and lack of social time are all big players.
Many of us now have less money, less time and less interaction with others.
But, there is another aspect of our lives which has taken a huge hit – our sleep.
Researchers from King’s College London and Ipsos MORI said that half of people are finding their sleep is disturbed more than usual.
Meanwhile 39% have slept fewer hours per night on average.
An additional 29% said they had slept longer, but felt less rested.
So, if you’re sleeping soundly you may be in the minority.
The survey, which looked at data from 2,254 Brits aged 16 to 75, also found that younger people were more greatly affected.
A sizeable 38% of people reported having more vivid dreams than usual.
The change in our sleep may be linked to underlying stress caused by the pandemic.
Even those who are receiving their full wage and continue to work may be feeling generally more anxious.
Those surveyed who said they found coronavirus stressful, or who faced financial difficulties, were more likely to report worse sleep.
If you’re struggling to fall asleep, waking often or waking too early, you may need to find a way to relax.
One of the most effective tactics to ensure a good nights sleep is having a set routine.
We would recommend spending the hour before you try and snooze away from any screens.
Televisions, phones and tablets emit blue light.
This disruptive light affects the production of melatonin – the sleep hormone.
You can also try wearing blue light blocking glasses.
Another trick is to watch what you are drinking.
Put down the tea, coffee or fizzy, sugary drinks and partake in some chamomile tea.
Chamomile flowers contain the antioxidant apigenin.
Apigenin binds to receptors in the brain that may decrease anxiety and initiate sleep.
For this reason, chamomile is believed to be a mild tranquilliser.
If your heart is still racing when you pop on you eye mask, try some breathing techniques.
This will re-direct stressful thoughts and switch your body from its fearful fight-or-flight mode into a calmer, relaxed space.