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Why you may be having trouble getting your Z’s during the pandemic

By Aley Davis, KSL TV | Posted - Aug. 3, 2020 at 7:32 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Take comfort in knowing you might not be the only one having a hard time sleeping during the coronavirus pandemic.

KSL TV interviewed Intermountain Healthcare sleep psychologist Lori Neeleman to understand what might be making it difficult for people to get quality sleep right now.

Neeleman says it comes down to two main reasons: an increase of stress and a lack of routine.

She says both contributing factors can be really disruptive to regular sleeping patterns.

"We aren't very well wired to sleep when we're stressed," she said.

For those who may have lost their jobs, been furloughed, or are even working from home, she says it can be harder to get out of bed without a motivating reason to start their day.

"People are up much later and they don't really have work to get up for, and even school — the kids didn't have school to get up for, so it impacts that ability of the body to regulate," she said.

Although it may be tempting to spend more time in your bedroom while working from home, Neeleman urges people to only use their bed for sleeping.

"All of a sudden, they're doing their work in their bed, and they might be having a little dinner in bed, and they're binge watching shows in bed, and then they're expected to sleep in bed as well," she said.

Neeleman says if you're struggling to sleep, stay away from taking naps.

She also reminds people to avoid caffeine or alcohol late in the day, try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, and get plenty of sunshine.

Neeleman says temporary sleep loss is part of normal sleep, but if someone is battling chronic insomnia it can lead depression or post-traumatic stress disorder in addition to physical ailments.

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