Life in lockdown has changed a lot of things – work, relationships, social lives – it might even have changed how well you’re sleeping. So, we decided to do some research into just how easily we’re all drifting off these days. After all, a good night’s sleep is important for our health and wellbeing, which is more important than ever right now.
Here’s what we found…
Our research found that more people have developed what they think might be insomnia in lockdown. In fact, the number of people searching for a ‘cure for insomnia’ on Google during April went up by a whopping 700% compared to the same period last year.
The number of people searching “how to get to sleep at night” has grown 417%, “feeling tired” is up 402% and “not sleeping well” has increased 400%. “sleeping too much” has decreased 71%.
Sleep drugs are also on people’s minds - searches for ‘buy sleeping pills online UK’ have soared up by 680%.
A massive 4,400 people were hunting for the prescription sleep drug Zopiclone online in the UK last month as it's said to help people fall asleep quicker and stop waking during the night.
Dr Daniel Cichi from Doctor 4 U says:
“Any online service that does offer sleeping pills such as Zopiclone is unregulated and breaking the law and you are risking your health if you go down the route of buying dangerous prescription drugs that are potentially counterfeit from unregulated sources.
“Your GP is the first port of call; they can assess whether there are any underlying issues that are causing sleep problems. Whether it is breathing problems, mental health problems, or certain medications that you’re taking, your GP will be able to determine the cause of insomnia so that you get the most appropriate treatment.
“Sometimes, insomnia needs some investigation work with various tests to determine the cause which is why going down the GP route is the best option if you’ve been struggling with insomnia for months and self-help methods have not worked.”
Dr Ivana Rosenzweig, Head of the Sleep and Brain Plasticity Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, conducted a recent survey, also finding that Brits are struggling with their sleep.
She commented on her study saying:
“Adequate and good-quality sleep is important to maintain our physical and mental resilience and disturbed sleep is often caused by stress. But we also know that poor sleep can play a role in increasing our levels of stress, which can create a cycle that’s difficult to break. This is reflected by the findings that this effect was greater for those most vulnerable and those who were more concerned about the pandemic.”
Found Yourself Searching “Why am I not sleeping”?
Well, you’re not alone. Worries over health, finances, relationships and boredom could all be contributing to why we’re not sleeping as well. We found that although work-related stress terms have gone down, these other anxiety terms are on the rise.
Health and boredom come top of the list in stress-related searches, closely followed by money worries. Other common worries that have peaked during the COVID-19 crisis include relationships (‘how to keep a relationship going‘) and anxiety in general - ‘can’t sleep due to anxiety’ has risen by 242%. Sadly, ‘anxiety attacks at night’ has also gone up 126%.
So, How Can We Get a Better Night’s Sleep in Lockdown?
Everyone copes differently to change, so it will likely be a process of trial and error and seeing what works for you. Our 10 Top Tips for Better Sleep During Lockdown provides some great ideas, including calming activities you could try. However, as bed specialists, one of our top pieces of advice would of course be to make sure you invest in a comfortable and supportive mattress.
For more tips and advice on getting a great night’s sleep, check out these articles:
- How to Sleep When Stressed – We Asked the Experts
- What Are the Best Sleep Supplements?
- Beat the Cycle: What is Insomnia and How Can You Treat It?
- Understanding Light Sleep: How to Become a Better Sleeper