Covid-19 and Sleep

Covid-19 is an unpredictable time where people are concerned about the health of their friends, family, and oneself. One way of reflecting on what we are all going through is that we are grieving the losses and changes in our lives.  We’ve experienced changes in our routine as classes got moved to online. For many of us this has included difficulties with adjusting to the “new normal.” Our study spaces also changed, as most of us are not on campus, which may also make it harder to concentrate on our online work. Lastly, social distancing and the resulting decrease in socialization can put a strain on our mood and add to the hard transitions of not being on campus. These unforeseen factors can result in new emotional experiences as we grieve our losses and adapt to changes in our lives. Dream Team and CSB/SJU Health Promotion want to help you understand the emotions you are feeling right now and assist with learning how to best respond to them.

Some Experiences You May Be Having:

  • Stress

o   May experience a lack of energy and focus
o   Can also cause headaches, chest pains, racing heart, and insomnia
o   May cause insomnia or difficulty falling asleep

  • Anxiety

o   Reported 12% increase in month of March attributed to Covid-19
o   Feelings of worry, unease, or nervousness
o   Can disrupt sleep cycles and patterns

  • Fear

o   Deeply connected to our survival instinct (along with anxiety)
o   Stimulates the fight-or-flight response
o   May cause muscles to tense and mind/body to remain alert
o   Increases in night-time awakenings and light sleep

  • Depression

o   Can cause feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
o   May feel irritable, sad, or empty
o   Can cause insomnia or difficulty falling asleep

  • Panic

o   Causes sudden, uncontrollable fear or anxiety
o   Often includes heart palpitations, sweating, shaking, and        hyperventilation
o   Increases in night-time awakenings

  • Isolation

o   Feelings of disconnection or separation from people or environments
o   May experience sadness, distress, and loneliness
o   Increases the risk and impact of other mental health issues

Recommendations for Adapting to COVID-19 Changes:

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule
  • Make a daytime schedule for classes, homework, and other activities
  • Create a study space that is separate from your sleep space
  • Stick to your new routine

Recommendations for Improving Mental Health:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Spend some time outside, like going for a walk
  • Communicate with family and friends via Facetime, Zoom, etc.
  • Practice mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and other breathing exercises
  • Do something creative such as writing, painting, playing music, etc.

Resources:

o   CSB/SJU Counseling Self-Care Website:  https://www.csbsju.edu/chp/counseling/self-care

o   Mindfulness-Meditations Website: https://www.uclahealth.org/marc/mindful-meditations

o   Apps: Headspace, Calm, and SimpleHabit

  • Routine/Schedule Creation:

o   Website: https://www.freecollegeschedulemaker.com/

o   Apps: Productive, Daily Planner, Habit Hub: Routine and Schedule

  • Exercise:

o   Youtube: Yoga with Adriene, HASfit, Fitness Blender, Blogilates

o   Apps: Home Workout - No Equipment, 30-Day Fitness, Map My Run,

Yoga Go, 7 Minute Workout, Nike Training Club