Anyone else having a difficult time sleeping since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) started?
It’s been almost a month since Luzon went into community quarantine in an effort to lessen contact and contain the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV). This new normal has forced several people to readjust according to their temporary work-from-home setting, as well as keep an eye on their overall well-being while dealing with cabin fever and stressful COVID-19 news.
That said, I noticed that my sleeping schedule has been all over the place. I’m not someone who normally sleeps before midnight on a regular day. However, my ECQ sleeping pattern feels like a combination of two-hour naps during weird hours of the evening.
Here’s a general idea based on my sleeping schedule the last few days:
After timing out from work at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., I doze off to catch up on sleep since I woke up (or tried to) early in the morning. I’ll probably wake up around 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. to eat dinner and just chill in my bedroom until it’s time to really sleep for the night.
In the rare moments I do fall asleep at midnight, I always end up waking after two hours. Most of the time, I won’t be able to fall asleep until the sun is up—I consider myself lucky if I do fall asleep before 5 a.m.
My alarm wakes me up for work at 8 a.m. and the cycle repeats.
At first, I thought the change in environment and the fact that I don’t have to get ready for the office was affecting my sleep schedule. After all, being at home tends to make you a little too comfortable and lazy, especially if your temporary office is your bedroom. But I quickly realized that the anxiety brought on by the pandemic may be causing this.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that an infectious disease outbreak can cause a change in sleeping and eating patterns due to the fear and worry people are experiencing. Of course, how people respond and cope with stress may vary, but having trouble sleeping is probably one of the most telling signs that the situation is stressing you out.
According to SleepFoundation.org, the anxiety may be caused by the fear of the unknown like how much the virus will spread and how long you’ll be in community quarantine. Excessive screen time and reading too much news about the pandemic can also affect one’s sleep. The latter has definitely affected me a lot since I’m always checking social media, especially for work. It doesn’t help that government officials often announce late-night press conferences where we either get COVID-19 updates or threats—there’s no in between.
Although a lot of us may be dealing with messed-up sleeping schedules for a few weeks now, it doesn’t mean we should let it be our new normal while at home. SleepFoundation.org emphasized that having enough sleep can strengthen our body’s immune system, heighten brain function and improve one’s mood and mental health. This means that we should change our daily habits, especially our news consumption, if we want to lessen our worries every night.
I also recognize that there are medical frontliners who are working long hours during the ECQ. The stress they have to endure cannot compare to anyone’s, but it’s still important to acknowledge that it’s okay that you’re not okay while dealing with pandemic anxiety.
We know that the COVID-19 news and the stress of the situation can be a lot to take in. We’re here to tell you that we can get through this, especially since we’re going to be in ECQ until Apr. 30. We can do this.