Lack of sleep, stress becomes distinguished issue in virus pandemic

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Have you noticed it’s getting harder to sleep at night? A local sleep expert said lack of sleep and an increase in stress is the most prominent problem they’ve seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

Dr. Caris Fitzgerald is a sleep medicine physician at UAMS, she said, “From worries of illness, to work, to finances, to home school, to isolation, to too much togetherness and how you are doing as a parent -stress or worry driving up arousal leads us to make poor decisions regarding sleep and wake.”

“Everyone needs to sleep. Everyone needs to sleep,” says Brad Marks, CMO SOM Sleep. “With everyone being stressed out due to the unknowns, sleep is the first thing to be affected.”

Brad Marks is the CMO of SOM sleep, he’s seeing firsthand that since the beginning of COVID, people are turning to sleep aids to catch some sleep.

“If you’re not getting seven to nine hours of sleep at night, the chances of you catching any virus let along COVID-19 is greater,” said Marks.

Marks said your immune system and sleep go hand-in-hand.

“Your immune system is of the utmost importance always but even more crucial now, so sleep is the biggest factor in that,” said Marks.

While many are turning to sleep aids, Dr. Fitzgerald said: “I often say to patients you have 16 hours to worry, but the eight hours for sleep needs to be reserved for rest.”

Dr. Fitzgerald suggests getting on a sleep schedule to ensure a good night’s sleep. She also suggests putting away all devices and bright screens an hour before bed.

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