Lockdown is having a terrible effect on our sleep, study shows

Brits have barely managed to get a wink of sleep during the lockdown, a study has found.

The poll of 2,254 aged 16 to 75 has revealed that two in five have slept fewer hours a night compared with before the isolation period.

And this has dramatically risen for those who are worried about facing financial difficulties – to 48%.

Half the population confessed that their sleeping pattern has changed for the worse.

Brits finding the pandemic stressful are nearly 50% more likely to get less sleep – than 29 per cent who are enjoying the isolation period.

Sixteen to 24 year olds are most likely to say they are getting less shut-eye – at 46%.

And shockingly, the study suggests it is more of a women’s issue – with 52 per cent having disrupted kip compared to 46 per cent of men.

The group was interviewed by Kings College London and Ipsos MORI from May 20 to 22.

Two in five confessed to having more vivid dreams than usual – since the lockdown measures were introduced on March 23.

And women are 10 percentage points higher than men who experience this – at 43 per cent.

Half the country who find coronavirus stressful have experienced more of these.

Three in ten admitted to dozing longer and waking up less rested.

Gideon Skinner, Research Director at Ipsos MORI, said: ‘Lack of sleep itself may have further knock-on effects on people’s capacity to be resilient in the face of the pandemic, and there are signs that it may be having a disproportionate impact on particular groups: women, younger people, and those facing financial hardship.’

Dr Ivana Rosenzweig, of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, said: ‘The survey also finds that unrefreshing sleep of longer duration, so called hypersomnia, was reported at a high level, especially by younger people.

‘The associations between depressive symptoms and hypersomnia have been known for some time and again there is a complex two-way relationship between the two, which means they can create a self-perpetuating cycle.’

Likewise, Simba’s sleep and mood tracking app found 50,000 Brits have experienced an ’emotional corona-coaster’ during the pandemic, as our sleep quality has gradually declined.

Wake-up moods were more erratic during the first two weeks of lockdown, and there was a ‘notable drop’ in sleep quality from March 23 – the day lockdown measures were announced.

One possible reason for this is rising alcohol intake, as data from the tracking app shows we’re drinking more alcohol.

‘When you drink alcohol, your body creates chemicals aldehydes and ketones,’ Cope explains.

‘Aldehydes block the brain’s ability to generate REM sleep.’

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