For many, the stress and anxiety brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder to get a good night’s sleep. While some data shows that Americans may be getting slightly more sleep, likely due to the lack of a morning commute, other studies show that these uncertain times have increased insomnia in some populations by around 20 percent.
Duke clinical psychologist Meg Danforth, PhD, who leads the Duke Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic, said she’s seen a spike in people seeking treatment for chronic insomnia, which is defined as an inability to fall, or stay, asleep, since the pandemic began.
“It is a basic survival mechanism to not sleep well when we’re in danger, that’s evolution. In a very real way, with COVID-19, we’re all in danger. So it’s really natural to not be sleeping well.”
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