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Why you might have ‘coronasomnia’ and how to beat it

What is ‘coronasomnia’ exactly? How do you beat it?

Relatives of patients sleep under a red tarp set up outside the COVID-19 section of the Clinicas Hospital.
Relatives of patients sleep under a red tarp set up outside the COVID-19 section of the Clinicas Hospital in San Lorenzo, Paraguay, Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
Jorge Saenz, Associated Press

Sleeping might have been harder for you this year. In fact, it’s been happening to so many people throughout the pandemic that there’s a new term to describe sleep disturbances because of COVID-19 — “coronasomnia.”

What is coronasomnia?

The term “coronasomnia” scribes “the surge in sleep disturbances last year,” according to The New York Times.

  • “Is your sleep not what it used to be? Does your mind race when your head hits the pillow? Do you wake up at 4 a.m. and struggle to fall back asleep? Are you feeling drowsy and sleep-deprived no matter how many hours you spend in bed?” The New York Times asked.
  • “For many people, sleeping poorly was the norm before the pandemic. Then the stress, anxiety and disruptions made our nightly slumber worse,” according to The New York Times.

Who has coronasomnia?

In fact, a study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently found that 60% of people said they struggled with insomnia because of the coronavirus pandemic. Quality of sleep also has broken down even though there’s been a drop in infection rates.

Angela Drake, a UC Davis Health clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, said in a statement that this impacts everyone.

  • “It’s a problem everywhere, across all age groups,” she said.
  • “Insomnia was a problem before COVID-19,” she said. “Now, from what we know anecdotally, the increase is enormous.”

How to stop ‘coronasomnia’ and sleep better

Experts from the University of California Davis had some advice on how to stop coronasomnia.

  • Keep a normal daily route that’s similar to your routine before COVID-19.
  • Keep the same routine when you’re going to bed.
  • Try not to use screens in the bedroom.
  • Don’t use your bedroom as an office.
  • Get some exercise during the day.
  • Don’t take any naps if you can.
  • Touch grass and see some sun.
  • Don’t eat a late dinner.
  • Try learning how to meditate.