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People are losing sleep over the coronavirus; Tips for finally getting some rest

Limit daily naps, get outside every day and avoid screens and lights before bed time.

NEW ORLEANS — Are you having a hard time falling asleep since the coronavirus pandemic started? You’re not alone.

Doctors have noticed that several of their patients are having trouble falling asleep at night.

“I would think it would be pretty normal just talking to my friends,” … said. “People are having some difficulty.”

“I think with what’s going on now, people are becoming more rigid, more anxious. They’re forgetting to breathe,” Stephen Layne said. “They’re trying to figure out how to connect again”

Layne is East Jefferson General Hospital’s sleep director. He says stress and the disruption is disrupting our Zzzzz’s.

"There are 2 kinds of anxiety,” Parker Robinson, director of the Porter-Cason Institute said. “One is the oh, somebody is going to jump out of the closet and then there's the other kind of worrying about the past and future. And the worrying about the past and future is what's going on with a lot of people right now. It creates a racing in your brain.”

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How much sleep you should get varies, but 7-8 hours is recommended. And getting that good snooze is beneficial to your health, especially now.

"We do know that it's important in assisting the immune system,” Layne said. “If people aren't getting enough sleep the immune system is weakened, you're more susceptible to infection."

So what helps?

Limit daily naps, get outside every day and avoid screens and lights before bed time.

"If you haven't fallen asleep in 30 minutes or so, you want to go out and do something quiet, you want to keep lights low,” Layne said.

And if your brain just won’t turn off?

"The racing thoughts are connected to our body and our brain,” Robinson said. “Our brain can slow if we slow our breath."

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