Every month, we take a look at the latest news in sleep and sleep health. Read on for your monthly Sleep News Roundup.
Coronavirus is impacting our sleep
It’s not surprising, but at least it might be validating: The coronavirus pandemic is causing widespread insomnia and other sleep issues. According to sleep experts interviewed by the Washington Post, chronic insomnia, poor sleep, more vivid nightmares, and prescriptions for sleep medication are all on the rise, in the U.S. and around the world. For some, that pandemic-induced poor sleep has resulted in more tooth grinding and cracked teeth, according to experts interviewed on KCRW’s Press Play podcast.
Gaining weight? Sleeping poorly could be to blame
As reported by CNN, a two-year study of health data tracked by smartphone apps showed a correlation between sleep duration, sleep pattern variability and body mass index (BMI), a controversial if convenient measure of body weight. Researchers have already determined that sleep deprivation causes a spike in ghrelin, a hormone that increases appetite, and a drop in leptin, a hormone that decreases appetite. Weight aside, if you find that you’re unusually hungry on a given day, you might be in need of a healthy night of sleep.
Sleep deprivation and emotional health
If you’ve ever had a particularly gloomy day after a night of tossing and turning, rest assured it wasn’t all in your head. According to Science Daily, researchers at the University of British Columbia have found that after a night of short sleep, we experience a “greater loss of positive emotions” when facing stressful situations. At the same time, we’re more likely to have a dulled response to positive events when we’re sleep deprived. A positive response to stressful situations can be important to both physical and mental health.
What’s your take?
What do you think of this month’s sleep news? See anything we missed? Let us know! And if any of this month’s stories have you concerned about your own sleep, physical, or mental health, consider making an appointment with your doctor today. And if you don’t have health insurance or are uncertain about your ability to pay for care, visit this website to find low-cost healthcare options near you.