BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Since the start of the pandemic a lot of people’s sleep schedules have been out of wack.
“Certainly peoples sleep patterns aren’t what they use to be when you’re working from home," Medical Director of the Sleep Lab at the DENT Neurologic Institute in Amherst Marc Frost said, "You’re not rushed to get up at six in the morning because you have to go to work. You’re not rushed to get in bed at eleven o’clock because you have to get up the next morning.”
But these changes in sleep patterns are contributing to what some experts are calling coronasomnia. Insomnia caused by the pandemic. Frost says this type of insomnia comes from anxiety surrounding the pandemic plus changes in habits that everyone's having from being at home.
Frost highlights four different types of insomnia:
- Trouble falling asleep
- Trouble staying asleep
- Waking up a lot
- Waking up early in the morning
For some people, insomnia is caused from anxiety.
“If someone’s anxious they're gonna be less likely to sleep at night," Frost said. "Their mind's going 100 miles an hour with different worries and concerns bouncing in their head while they're trying to sleep.”
For others, it’s due to a lack of routine.
“You need to be very regular with your habits. So getting up the same time every day, going to bed the same time every night,” he said.
Frosts suggests anyone struggling with coronasomnia to create better habits.
“No screens when you’re trying to fall asleep at night. No caffeine in the afternoon. Try to get some exercise in," he said. "Probably something I didn’t touch on, but is something that’s been a bigger issue from corona is alcohol use. Alcohol is really disruptive to sleep.”
And while he understands these healthy habits can be harder to maintain under current restrictions, he said they will make all the difference when it’s time to go to bed.
“Unfortunately as human beings we love our bad habits and it's really hard to keep the good ones," Frost said. "And that’s really all that good sleep is about. Just keeping those good habits.”