According to the most recent APA Stress in America Study, 66% of people reported sleeping more or less than they wanted to since the pandemic started. Previously, I've written blogs (click here or here) about causes and remedies for insomnia. In this interview with psychologist Dr. Jennifer Martin (conducted by the American Psychological Association), additional insights and tips relevant to "coronasomnia" are discussed. This super informative interview is full of great information for those that are struggling with sleep. If you prefer to read, a transcription of the interview is also posted.
Three things that I found most interesting are:
1) How to get your sleep back on track during the re-opening of
businesses: Dr. Martin encourages people to set a routine,
much like what may have been in place prior to the start of
the pandemic. It's reassuring how she mentions that the brain
and body have a homeostatic process where the body
chemically regulates how much sleep is needed.
2) Solutions for insomnia that come with mixed reviews: You
cannot will yourself to fall asleep at night. I agree with this-
along with this I would say that the old strategy of "counting
sheep" doesn't work. Dr. Martin states over-the-counter remedies such as melatonin, Tylenol PM, Advil PM, and anti- histamines ARE NOT the first line of treatment for insomnia according to medical research (contrary to common practice!). These medications can be risky for the elderly, can have
interactions with other medications, and overtime may lessen in effectiveness.
3) Dr. Martin's treatment advice for insomnia?: Cognitive
behavioral therapy is recommended as a first line of treatment
for most people while medications are only recommended as a treatment option for some. If sleep problems persist for 3
months or more, it may be time to seek professional help.
Mobile apps can also be a self-help support aid, with positive recommendations for the Insomnia Coach and the CBT-i Coach.
All blog posts from Dr. Soo Hoo are provided for educational and informational purposes only. As Dr. Soo Hoo is a licensed clinical and health psychologist, we must make it clear that nothing on the blog is intended to constitute medical or psychological advice, consultation, recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are concerned about your health, please seek appropriate care in your area.