Written by Becca Hamilton on Dec 27, 2021.
Scientifically fact checked by Kokoon.
If you’ve struggled with insomnia since the coronavirus pandemic, you are not alone. Research by the University of Southampton has shown that a quarter of people experienced insomnia during the pandemic. And another study’s data suggests that there has been a 37% increase in the rates of clinical insomnia (from 14.6% to 20%) from before to the peak of the COVID pandemic.
But why does poor sleep matter, and what can we do about it?
Sleep is a critical part of our lives. As we juggle the demands of the pandemic and easing restrictions, arguably, sleep has never been more important.
Consistent, quality sleep strengthens our body’s immune system: research has shown that lack of sleep can even make some vaccines less effective.
Our brains function better when we have good quality sleep. Quality sleep is sleep that’s long enough and enables us to spend enough time in NREM and REM sleep, at the right time of day . Quality slumber contributes to our ability to navigate complex thinking, memory, learning, and cognitive processes like decision making. Good sleep keeps us in good shape.
Your mood is also improved by good quality sleep. Poor sleep can worsen feelings of depression and anxiety. Studies have found that a lack of sleep is linked with numerous mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. And there's a bilateral relationship between sleep deprivation and several mental health conditions - as one "exacerbates" the other.
However, consistently sleeping for the right length at the right time can help improve mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Experts agree that good quality, regular sleep can improve all areas of our lives. So what can we do to get more, better sleep?
Set parameters around your home life: if you’re still working from home, get up at the same time each day and mimic what a commute might feel like by going on a walk and soaking in the daylight. Getting outside in the morning and the late afternoon not only allows you to get exercise and fresh air, creating boundaries between home and work life, but it exposes your brain and body to daylight, kick-starting hormone cycles which wake you up and get you ready for bedtime later in the day.
- Kokoon employees work mostly remotely, and we encourage our team to work not only to their chronotype, but to use audio apps and playlists for meditation and de-stressing at the end of the day
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule: part of setting parameters around home and work life is setting a sleep schedule. Just like we know that every Wednesday at 7pm is Spin class and every Saturday morning we go grocery shopping, we should know that every night at a certain time we should be going to bed. So choose a bedtime and try to stick with it.
MyKokoon helps you set and stick to a sleep schedule, with wind-down times encouraging you to step away from your screen and listen to audio to help you wind down and sleep.
- Whilst you’re winding down, don’t forget to get your other bedroom conditions right too. Make sure your room is dark and cool. Your bedroom should be where you disengage from work and life as best you can, using meditation or wind-down audio tracks to get in the right frame of mind, and start thinking of sleep as a priority in order to rest and recover.
Remember, sleep should not be considered an inconvenience: it’s the process that gives you a performance edge.
Sleep better with Kokoon.