Quarantine Insomnia: Why You’re Having Trouble Sleeping

Have you found yourself tossing and turning at night lately? Or maybe you can fall asleep but can’t stay asleep. Or maybe you’re technically getting your recommended 8 hours of sleep but you never wake up feeling rested and are crawling through the day exhausted. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Many people are experiencing bouts of insomnia and fragmented sleep, specifically since quarantine protocols began. 

In fact, some reports show up to a 21% spike in filled anti-insomnia, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant medications between February and March 2020 when the quarantine began.

Why Am I Having Trouble Sleeping?

There are many different factors that have all converged during this time that may be affecting your sleep quality.

Stress - Of course, the world seems to be a LOT more stressful these days. With a global pandemic raging, social unrest across the country, and a national election...there’s a lot to be stressed about. Stress is, unfortunately, a major contributor to loss of sleep. Increased cortisol levels in our body prevent us from easing into restful REM cycles.

Increased Time Indoors - Even if you weren’t a social butterfly before all of this, you most likely got out of the house at least every day for work and some social functions. Too much time inside can make sleeping difficult for multiple reasons, even if you actually find yourself having more time available to sleep. Lack of exercise, mental stimulation, social interactions, and even just something as simple as a change of scenery, all affect our ability to sleep well at night.

Extra Screen Time - With online schooling, extra exposure to news 24/7, and zoom meetings completely replacing in-person meetings, our time in front of a screen has increased quite a bit during this year. The blue light from screens tell your brain to stop producing melatonin (a natural sleep hormone) so the extended exposure (especially at night close to bedtime) can greatly reduce your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Sleep is an important factor in your overall physical and mental health so not being able to get adequate quality rest can really have an effect on your overall wellbeing. If you’re finding yourself restless at night with racing thoughts and anxiety please email me leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323. I would love to help you come up with a strategic plan to improve your rest and reduce your stress.