We are stressed. Our daily routines are being disrupted. It’s no surprise that insomnia is arising as one more side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. While sleeplessness hasn’t been noted as a direct symptom of the virus, it is an indirect symptom that nearly anyone around the world – including the otherwise physically healthy –can suffer right now.
I’ve been struggling to sleep. My new sleep “schedule” is: get in bed at 11:30pm. Lie there until 2am, awake. Pop a second melatonin, which finally kicks in around 4am. Sleep for five hours. Get up. And yes, I’ve tried it all. Sleepytime tea. Supplements. More exercise. Meditation. A little booze. This insomnia seems pretty invincible at this point. But, that’s because the source of it isn’t normal. It isn’t anything I’ve faced before. The source is stress over knowing that as I lie there in bed, nurses and doctors struggle with emotional meltdowns between saving lives, the businesses I came to love and connect to in my community may permanently close their doors, and life as I knew it may not recover. That stress runs deep.
I thought I was the only one struggling with this sleep issue at first. I’ve never been a great sleeper anyway so, I thought this was just a more intense bout of the usual BS (which plagues every area of my life). But then I started reading the social media posts of others and talking to friends and found that this is a nationwide problem right now. And likely a worldwide problem. Here are the reasons you probably can’t sleep right now.
Normal life tired you out
We don’t realize just how active we are when the economy is open and life is normal. Just between running errands and taking the dog for longer walks and seeing friends and grabbing coffee and moving around an office. What about the walk from the metro station to the office? Or perhaps you walked to and from work. Our lives are so stationary now. We don’t get to tire ourselves out the way we once did.