Sleeping well is essential for our body, for many reasons. It is now known that a good sleep allows us to better face the new day, recharges us, improves our concentration, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, keeps us away the Depression, helps our immune system and more.
The novelty is that there also appears to be a link between sleep and coronavirus: sleep, in fact, could be the key to ending the pandemic. To support this is a study that appeared in The Atlantic, who cited the researches of Feixiong Cheng, analyst of Cleveland Clinic’s Genomic Medicine Institute.
The researcher put together data from thousands of patients and the results showed which people were taking melatonin, the so-called sleep hormone, were significantly less likely to contract and develop Covid-19.
Not only: the sleep rule the immune system and prevents the body’s “exaggerated” self-protective reactions. And in Covid-19 disease, as is known, one of the main dangers is a hyperallergic reaction called a cytokine storm.
But right now, when sleep is even more important for the health of our body, an undesirable effect occurs: insomnia from Covid.
From various studies it emerges that among the major disturbances created by quarantine there is insomnia: over half of Italians (including children) sleep worse and struggle more to fall asleep.
It certainly contributes to causing these disorders the set of thoughts, worries, anxieties and fears that inevitably the moment we are living gives us. But also forced isolation, which has revolutionized the rhythms of our daily life, certainly cannot be considered helpful.
Insomnia is manifested by delay in falling asleep, many awakenings during the night, the experience of terrifying dreams, what are often called nightmares. And the more the anxiety is important, the more pronounced these phenomena are. To consolidate this evidence, the sales of some sleeping pills, which have grown up to 40 percent in recent months.
Giuseppe Plazzi, director of the center for the study and treatment of sleep disorders at the Bellaria hospital in Bologna and president of the Italian Association of Sleep Medicine (Aims), carried out a large Italian study published in the journal Frontiers of Psychology.
Six thousand cases of people aged between 18 and 82 were investigated between March and May and it was found that more than half (55.3 percent) complained of reduced sleep quality and changes in the sleep-wake rhythm, with an anticipation or postponement of the sleep period.
“All this is linked to higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression – comments the specialist – and a worsening of mental well-being and quality of life. And the greatest risk concerns women ».
But not even the children were spared the gray shadow of Covid. «Preliminary data indicate that in the pediatric population especially the rhythms of sleep have skipped – continues Plazzi -. This means either falling asleep very late in the evening and then sleeping the whole morning or sleeping a lot in the afternoon with consequent awakening in the middle of the night and, in the end, sleep again in the morning ».
Sleeping is important, but it becomes even more important in the midst of a pandemic. The right amount of sleep (at least 7-8 hours, on average) can help to stay healthy and, barring other problems, does not require the use of real drugs. Among the tips are that of sleep in a quiet and comfortable environment, reduce afternoon naps and of avoid excessive stimuli (how to use the smartphone) in the half hour before going to bed.
In the gallery above, other remedies – including making soap bubbles – to find good sleep, especially in a period like this.