Coronasomnia: India is in the middle of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and according to Union health ministry, the number of COVID-19 infections has climbed to 2,73,69,093. But even for those who have managed to stay away from the highly infectious disease, the pandemic has taken a toll on their health. Among the main health concerns is a rise in cases of insomnia or the ability to fall or stay asleep. The rise in such cases of insomnia has even led to the coining of the new term ‘coronasomnia’.
Pandemic-related stress is one of the reasons behind many of the new cases of insomnia. Explaining this, Dr Anamika Rathore – consultant ENT/endoscopic sinus and sleep apnea surgeon, Bhatia Hospital Mumbai – said that people are under a lot of stress because of fear of getting infected with the disease.
“There are other reasons as well which is leading to stress and ultimately insomnia. Some of them are – watching too much of the news, not being able to meet family friends who are infected with Covid-19 and feeling of helplessness,” the doctor was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Change in daily routine and lack of psychical activities are also responsible for this. Apart from this, online work, working for long hours without taking any break, increased screen time – as a large number of people are forced to stay indoors, there has been a surge in average time spent on mobile phones or laptops – time are also leading to insomnia. The doctor also explained that many people are facing problems like financial stress, career insecurity, job loss and all this is leading to insomnia.
Dr Rathore said that lack of sleep may lead to serious issues. “It may reduce immunity levels and enhances inflammation and this makes it a vicious cycle.”
The doctor said that insomnia not only causes fatigue but also makes you prone to diabetes, hypertension, and stroke. “These along with low immunity make one more susceptible to coronavirus infection.”
Dr Rathore said that in order to avoid this, one must try to stay away from negative news and too many online updates. “Reduce screen time, do exercise regularly, follow a healthy diet, get involved in things like listening music, reading, etc. Also, avoid daytime naps and those who drink or smoke should quit it at the earliest.”