Stress and Anxiety Linked to Poor Sleep During Pandemic: According to a recent study by Anxiety UK, nearly half (44%) of all respondents feel their sleep has worsened because of the pandemic, with 81% citing stress or anxiety as the main cause of disruption.
Whether you’re worried about your health, future or finances, there are a myriad of reasons why the past 15-months have been more stressful and worry-inducing than most. It is hardly surprising then that so many of us have been struggling with our sleep.
Anxiety UK Operations Director Dave Smithson comments:
“Stress is our body’s reaction to pressures from a situation or life event and can be a common trigger for anxiety. In many everyday situations stress can be seen as a normal reaction that helps keep us awake and alert, but when stress becomes excessive or persists over a period the opposite happens.
“The results of our survey highlight not only the impact of Covid-19 on the Nation’s sleeping habits, but also the bidirectional relationship between sleep, stress and anxiety.”
The knock-on effects of stress can have a vast impact on our mental and physical wellbeing, and in particular our quality of sleep, by disrupting the balance of hormones released. If left unmanaged, prolonged, or chronic stress can lead to long-term anxiety, as well as other health problems including a heightened risk of respiratory problems, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Dr Irshaad Ebrahim, co-founder of The London Sleep Centre and neuropsychiatrist, comments:
“When our internal neuro-chemical systems are working normally, they regulate biological processes like sleep, appetite, mood and energy levels. If we are stressed, the Adreno-Cortical System is dysregulated and our energy sources are diverted, resulting in sleep disruption and mood changes.
Before we sleep it’s important to de-stress, reducing levels of cortisol, and replacing them with increased levels of melatonin, the hormone released in the brain that signals to the body it’s time to sleep.”