Insomnia is one of the most common health problems in the UK. Even before the pandemic, it was known to affect millions of people.
According to a study conducted by the Centre for Population Change, the number of people suffering from sleep loss rose by approximately 9 per cent following the start of lockdown-related restrictions in March.
The increase in insomnia among Britons was even more pronounced in certain demographics. The rate of women suffering from insomnia rose from 18.9 per cent to 31.8 per cent. The increase was even greater for mothers. For those with children ages 5 to 18, the rate rose from 21.7 per cent to 38 per cent. The rate more than doubled for mothers of children ages 0 to 4, from 19.5 per cent to 40 per cent.
With the pandemic and subsequent lockdown making insomnia even more of a problem than it had already been, it is more important than ever for people to understand how to manage it.
Symptoms of insomnia include:
- Finding it hard to go to sleep
- Waking up several times during the night
- Feeling tired after waking up
- Feeling irritable
- Having difficulty concentrating due to being tired
- Waking up early and not being able to fall back asleep
The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep per night. In order to help alleviate insomnia, consider the following tips:
- Establish a solid sleep schedule that includes going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
- Do something relaxing, such as reading, for at least one hour before going to bed.
- Keep your bedroom dark and quiet.
- Exercise during the day.
- Avoid eating a large meal close to bedtime.
- Avoid television or other electronic devices before bedtime.
- Do not smoke, or drink caffeine or alcohol at least 6 hours before going to bed.
If these steps do not help your insomnia improve, speak with your GP.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice. Content by Zywave, Inc. provided by TH March.