There’s no getting away from the fact that the nationwide lockdowns have put various strains on our lives. The things we perhaps took for granted before – going to work, seeing family members, socialising – have been taken away to ensure our safety in the fight against coronavirus.
Though the lockdowns have helped keep people safe from the virus, other elements of our health have suffered. As we learnt with the first lockdown, search figures around insomnia and other sleep related topics sky-rocketed.
Now, over a year since we first went into lockdown, have we got used to the restrictions and our sleep improved as a result? What has sleep during lockdown been like the second time around? We’ve examined Google data to find out what the UK public has been searching about sleep. Check out what we found, below.
Have you been struggling to sleep during lockdown? If so, you’re not alone. There has been a staggering increase in recent months of people searching for that extra bit of help nodding off. Between April 2020 and January 2021, search results for ‘can you get sleeping pills over the counter’ increased by a whopping 1600%.
Dr Nicky Keay, Chief Medical Officer at Forth, says:
“I suggest avoiding sleeping tablets if at all possible. Tablets can interfere with your own internal timing system and sleep architecture. Sleep architecture is what represents the cyclical pattern of sleep as it shifts between the different stages; REM, light and deep sleep.”
Similarly, ‘good sleeping tablets’ (200% increase in searches) and ‘best over the counter sleeping tablets UK’ (433% increase in searches) search terms further paint a picture that many people are suffering with lockdown insomnia or other sleep disturbances and are looking for sleeping aids to help them get some quality rest.
People haven’t only been looking for medicated solutions to their lockdown sleeping woes. The number of people searching ‘natural sleep aids’ has shot up 614%, with ‘natural remedies to help you sleep’ also up by 190%.
Dr Nicky Keay goes on to say:
“Those that are struggling with insomnia should try and get into a bedtime routine. For some people, it may take a while but doing the same process every night, e.g. no phone after 9pm, reading a chapter of a book and going to bed at the same time should help people that are struggling to sleep fall asleep quicker, or even remain asleep for a longer period of time.”
If you like the idea of natural scents and sleep mists to help you nod off, make sure to read: Lavender to Peppermint: What Scent Helps You Sleep? I particularly love lavender and camomile.
General Sleep Searches
While it’s clear to see that finding specific solutions has become increasingly popular, so too has seeking more general help with sleep. Search terms such as ‘how to fall asleep easy’ spiking by 400% indicate a real desire from the masses to educate themselves on the nuances of sleep.
Closely related searches such as ‘trouble sleeping at night’ and ‘help to sleep at night’ also increased significantly, showing people not only are seeking help sleeping but in ensuring a solid, restful night once they have nodded off.
Improving Your Sleep
Though we are slowly returning to normal life, one step at a time, trying to maintain a balanced routine can still be extremely challenging. With different parts of our lives so off-kilter at the moment, you could be one of the many in search of sleep solutions.
To help, we’ve comprised a list of our 10 favourite tips to get you out like a light in the safest ways possible. We also have a load of expert information on how to sleep when stressed, that’ll hopefully put your mind at ease for when your head hits the pillow. Of course, your sleep environment can also have a huge impact on your slumber. So, if you’re struggling to sleep during lockdown, perhaps a new mattress might help? Shop our range and make sure to utilise our Mattress Firmness Tools to ensure you choose the most comfortable and supportive mattress for your needs.