Sleep problems - Deepstash

Sleep problems

  • Anxiety over the future and fear for the health of loved ones increase hyper-arousal and rumination, thus intensifying insomnia.
  • Isolation from regular social rhythms and natural light will mess with our body clock, confusing us about when we are supposed to feel tired and when to perk up.
  • The smartphone age has already led to a substantial deterioration in both duration and quality of sleep.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THEARTICLE

It is exactly during times of social uncertainty and anxiety, when we need sleep the most, that it is most disrupted.
We need sleep for maintaining the immunological function, which is key to preventing and recovering from infectious diseases (like the one created by the new virus).

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In this period of social distancing, we should focus on improving our sleep.
Many of us can now sleep in and organize lives in ways that suit our biological ticker.
This may be an unprecedented opportunity to embrace a basic human need to switch off on a regular basis, helping human bodies fight the wars only those bodies know how.

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Disrupted daily routines

The current pandemic is disrupting daily routines around the world.

  • Overwhelmed hospitals, desolate schools, ghostly towns, and self-isolation look like scenes from a horror movie and can increase our levels of worry. 
  • Around 40% of individuals feel anxiety about the pandemic, and more than half have been avoiding some or all other people.

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RELATED IDEAS

Disruption and isolation have a way of encouraging us to electively re-evaluate our lives.

Many are abandoning habits or behaviors during this pandemic. Some vowed to care less about ladder climbing or to cut frustrating people out of their lives. Others have gone cold turkey on nail-biting or luxury online shopping.

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The noise in our brains

With record-high instances of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse in the United States, and likely elsewhere, we still think antidepressants can be used to relieve some of the damage. But this may not be true. The use of antidepressants has inadvertently left many less able to feel empathy toward others, laugh, cry, dream, and enjoy life when we need it most.

A theory of brain function involving serotonin may point a way forward for effective treatment.

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Isaac Newton's Quarantine

During the bubonic plague in 1665, Newton was among the students forced to return home from Trinity College, Cambridge.

Away from university life, curriculum constraints, and professors to guide him, Newton seemed to thrive. At home, he built bookshelves and created a small office for himself. Free from distractions, Newton discovered differential and integral calculus, formulated a theory of universal gravitation, and explored optics.

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