Coronavirus lockdown caused sharp increase of insomnia in UK
The lockdown triggered a sharp increase in anxiety-related sleeping problems, with mothers, key workers and people from minority ethnic backgrounds the worst affected, a study shows.
The number of Britons suffering sleep loss caused by worrying rose from one in six to one in four as a direct result of the huge disruption to people’s social and working lives after the restrictions began on 23 March.
Social isolation, loss of employment, financial problems, illness, fear of getting infected with coronavirus and the pressures of juggling work and home-schooling all contributed to the trend.
Prof Jane Falkingham, from the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Centre for Population Change at Southampton University, which undertook the research, said: “Sleep loss affected more people during the first four weeks of the Covid-19 related lockdown than it did before. We observed a large increase in the number of Britons, both men and women, suffering anxiety-induced sleep problems.
“This reflects stress levels due to anxieties about health, financial consequences, changes in social life and the daily routine, all of which may affect sleep.”
She and her colleagues looked at how many people aged 16 and above from a 15,360-strong sample of the population had trouble sleeping both before the pandemic struck in March and then in April.
The overall incidence of worry-related sleep loss rose from 15.7% to 24.7%. But that 9% increase nationally masked much bigger spikes in certain groups, particularly mothers of young children. For example, while the number of men experiencing poor sleep rose ...
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