How to get a better night’s sleep if you’re feeling anxious during the pandemic. The Independent

Max Kirsten Independent newspaper, Press

Corona Virus Sleep Max Kirsten Independent Newspaper
Corona Virus Sleep Feature Max Kirsten Independent Newspaper

It is supposed to be the most natural thing in the world, but sometimes falling asleep can feel like an impossible task, writes Sarah Young

  • Friday 17 April 2020 10:28 

Life in lockdown is not easy, with the majority of the country facing increased financial pressures, anxiety over the health of their loved ones and cabin fever caused by staying at home for days on end.

So much so, that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is proving so stressful for some people that it is causing them to lose sleep at night or, when they do eventually nod off, to have more intense and emotional dreams.

Professor Mark Blagrove, a leading expert in sleep and dreaming at Swansea University’s department of psychology, says that the change in circumstances could be causing people to have metaphorical “replication of life dreams” which trigger powerful visions about their daily lives pre-Covid-19.

“For a lot of people, they won’t dream about their working life because, generally, it’s not that interesting,” Professor Blagrove says.

“But if the current situation gives people more interesting things happening, it may happen that people are dreaming more.”

Lack of sleep is also known to have a detrimental impact on both physical and mental health, raising the risk of problems such as depressionheart diseasediabetes, and stroke.

Max Kirsten, a hypnotherapist and founder of The Sleep Coach, explains that getting a good night’s sleep can help boost the immune system.

“Sleep is your life support system. It helps every cell in your body and brain to renew and to be ready again for another day,” Mr Kirsten says.

“Sleep is your secret weapon increasing your immunity to the coronavirus, with sleep scientists recommending eight hours a night to optimise your body’s immune system.”

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