We continue taking a Quebec view of COVID based on a lengthy article in the monthly Quebec magazine “L’actualité (December edition).
The number of insomniacs has increased in the past few months notes Charles Morin the chair of research of Canada into sleep troubles who is also a professor at the University of Laval in Quebec.
Why? His view is that the amount of stress caused by the pandemic and the work from home that causes a blurring of the boundaries between being awake and being asleep. The time spent inside has resulted in a reduced exposure to sunlight which is important for synchronizing your hours of sleep. There is no need to panic but rather re-establish a sleep routine especially relaxing away from the screen before going to bed.
There are three characteristics of an insomniac being difficulty falling asleep (more than 30 minutes), waking up at night with difficulty falling back to sleep or waking up early around 4 a.m.
Insomnia causes it to be difficult to function during the day, bad mood and troubles with concentration and memory.
Insomniacs are at increased risk of hypertension and depression. Many have an obsession with sleep which prevents proper daily functioning and are apprehensive of the upcoming night.
The most recognized medical community treatment is cognitive therapy which is tried with 60-70% of insomniacs and takes anywhere from 6-8 sessions. Only 40% of those revert to good sleep patterns. One objective of cognitive therapy is to destroy myths such as it is imperative to get 8 hours of sleep. A continual sleep of 6 ½ hours is better than a continually interrupted sleep of 9 hours.