Stigma And Sleep Loss During COVID-19 Is Taking A Heavy Toll On Our Mental Health

Since the coronavirus outbreak happened many of us are stressed out. This stress has ranged from work-related stress, stress of the current situation to adjusting to new rules. Due to this stress, many of us are facing abrupt changes in our daily routine especially our sleep cycles.

Stigma related to COVID-19 and its effect 

The word stigma can explain vague and irrational thoughts of people attached to a particular illness, way of behaving, etc. Since this lockdown started, many people got traumatized and began creating stigma around it, for e.g. a person who’s sneezing normally is labelled as a corona patient which though isn’t true, but if we listen to it once, we start believing it due to the current situation and create another stressor for ourselves. 

Once we listen to such things, we start overthinking about the issue and stress ourselves out. Stress majorly affects our sleep cycle because when we are stressed we usually overthink about the situation which has a negative impact on our mental health and further disturbs our physical health as well.

What is over-thinking?

Over-thinking can be explained as a tree of thoughts. We begin by thinking from the root thought and then grow branches of thoughts attached to the root thought and keep on repeating the process.

Some of its main causes are:

Basically, any and every thought can make one over-think. We cannot stop our thoughts because at times it is helpful if we reach a solution but if it’s vague and prolonged, it can lead to mental and physical stress. Lately, this has become a major issue since the pandemic as most of us are facing random thoughts which are creating a heavy toll on our mental health and are disturbing our sleep patterns. 

Importance of proper sleep

Sleep, like any other process, is an important part of human life. Sleep plays an important role in our physical as well as mental health. Proper sleep helps in relaxing muscles and repairing our blood vessels and heart. If one is facing sleep deficiency, he/she is more likely to have certain problems like:

  • Increased rate of heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Various stress disorders, etc.

Having a proper sleep is as important as eating healthy food. However, in certain situations like the pandemic, it becomes difficult to go to sleep due to ongoing anxiety and stress. During such times, we can try some techniques to release our tension and have a sound sleep.

Tips to improve sleep pattern

  • Meditation – Meditation reduces stress and relaxes our mind which helps us to sleep easily. In order to meditate, you can seek guidance from meditation gurus or do it yourself by following three easy steps. Step 1- sit or lie down in a comfortable position and close your eyes, step 2 – focus on an imaginary point, and step 3 – chant a mantra or a song that you like.
  • Reading a book – Reading something good before you go to sleep can divert your thoughts from current stress and can help you fall asleep faster.
  • Cozy environment – A dark room, comfortable clothes, and soothing music can give you an idea of a cozy environment; basically, anything that relaxes you physically and helps you maintain positivity is beneficial in having a good sleep.
  • Not using mobile phone just before you go to bed – Media keeps us entertained and bombarded with facts news and other things which distract our mind and becomes a barrier in letting us sleep properly, so avoiding the usage of mobile phone just before going to bed is a good option.
  • Avoid eating a heavy dinner – Eating fatty and heavy food can make us uncomfortable and can wreck our sleep. Having a light dinner which is easy on the stomach is considered good for our body so avoid having heavy foods at night.

In conclusion, everyone is facing pretty much the same situations when it comes to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic due to which our sleep pattern has become irregular. We can regulate our life and mental health by following some tips and exercises and adding them to our routine. So, stay positive and optimistic in every situation and move forward towards a better future.

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