Are You Having Trouble Sleeping Lately? ‘Coronasomnia’ Might Be the Reason
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, between 50 to 70 million Americans have sleep disorders, and 1 in 3 adults do not regularly get the recommended 7 to 8 hours per day of uninterrupted sleep. The pandemic has made this worse, causing disruptions to many sleep routines and exacerbating preexisting challenges to getting a good night's rest, CNN reported.
Some experts have coined the trend "coronasomnia," highlighting the connection between the pandemic and increased sleeplessness, said clinical psychology and behavioral sleep medicine researcher Christina Perpaoli Parker, reported CNN. The changes range from more subtle, like increased restlessness or poorer quality of sleep, to a nightmarish "flat-out hell" of chronic lack of sufficient sleep or full-on insomnia, the news report said.
According to the Sleep Foundation, reasons for increased sleeplessness during the pandemic could include disruptions to daily routines, health and economic concerns, social isolation, increased family and work stress and too much screen time.
University of Maryland Medical System noted that lack of light may also contribute. Being inside for quarantine limits exposure to natural light, which signals to the body when to be awake and asleep.
Anxiety and biology may also bolster the connection.
Humans are wired to stay awake in the face of danger, so the fears surrounding the first widespread global pandemic in 100 years have pushed many into unhealthy sleep patterns, said professor of medicine Jennifer Martin, CNN reported.
"It would have been an unfortunate mistake of evolution if we were sleepy when there was a tiger outside of our cave and we went to sleep," Martin told the news report. "When we perceive a threat, we are awake. That's adaptive. That's good for us. Yet when there is a large threat in our environment like a global pandemic, one of our initial biological stress reactions is to not sleep so we can be prepared to deal with the threat."
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America agreed that anxiety causes sleeping problems, and found new research that sleep deprivation might cause anxiety disorders. Amidst the public health and economic crises, fear and sleeplessness could be stuck in a positive feedback loop that is contributing to diminished health and wellness.
Data confirms that sleep difficulties have increased during the pandemic. A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that 36% of Americans reported difficulty sleeping due to pandemic stress. Sleep medication prescriptions rose 14.8% during the first month of shutdowns, CNN reported. Not surprisingly, anxiety medication prescriptions also rose 34% during the same time period. And, while many are sleeping more during the pandemic, a new study indicated the quality of rest is declining precipitously.
This is a problem because "[g]ood sleep undergirds every aspect of mental and physical health, which we need to support now more than ever," Pierpaoli Parker told CNN.
The Sleep Foundation reported that while quality sleep is always important, it takes on higher significance during a pandemic. Sleep boosts the immune system, heightens brain function, enhances mood and helps combat depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the Foundation reported.
The Harvard Gazette reported that poor sleep also increases disease risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, Alzheimer's and dementia.
Experts suggested a few tips to boost quality sleep, even during the pandemic:
- Set a consistent sleep routine that might be different from your non-pandemic one which factors in commute times and omits virtual schooling, the Harvard Gazette suggested.
- Get regular exercise to tire out your body, CNN reported.
- Don't nap because it ruins your "appetite" for sleep, reported the Harvard Gazette.
- Reserve the bed for sleep and intimacy to train the mind to relax there. "Working-from-home shouldn't be working-from-bed. It also means avoiding bringing a laptop into bed to watch a movie or series," the Sleep Foundation advised.
- Use relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga and reading, the Sleep Foundation offered.
- Try new ways to boost your coping mechanisms with pandemic stress, such as baking bread, adopting a pet or plant, organizing your home or learning a new language.
- Limit screen time, which can be stimulating, for 1-2 hours before bed, CNN suggested.
- Avoid stressful news before bedtime. "Doomscrolling" and oversaturation of bad news right before sleep can lead to stressful and poor sleep, the Cleveland Clinic reported.
- Schedule in "worry time" so your mind gets accustomed to "worrying at the same time and same place every day" and so those worries interfere less with sleep, CNN suggested.
- Best CBD for Sleep (Lab-Tested, Person-Tested Oils) - EcoWatch ›
- Why an Organic Mattress? An Avocado (Eco)Review - EcoWatch ›
- Anxiety Medication Prescriptions up 34% Since Coronavirus ... ›
- More Than Half of COVID-19 Survivors in Study Reported ... ›
- 5 Surprising Ways People Are Coping During the Pandemic ... ›
- New Clues Help Monarch Butterfly Conservation Efforts - EcoWatch ›
- Monarch Butterflies Will Be Protected Under Historic Deal - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
California faces another "critically dry year" according to state officials, and a destructive wildfire season looms on its horizon. But in a state that welcomes innovation, water efficacy approaches and drought management could replenish California, increasingly threatened by the climate's new extremes.
- Remarkable Drop in Colorado River Water Use Sign of Climate ... ›
- California Faces a Future of Extreme Weather - EcoWatch ›
Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
- 14 Countries Commit to Ocean Sustainability Initiative - EcoWatch ›
- These 11 Innovations Are Protecting Ocean Life - EcoWatch ›
- How Innovation Is Driving the Blue Economy - EcoWatch ›