Stress and ‘Coronasomnia’: Six ways to combat pandemic fatigue this Stress Awareness Month
April 2021   WHOLE HEALTH

Stress and ‘Coronasomnia’: Six ways to combat pandemic fatigue this Stress Awareness Month

After studies show that shortage of sleep can reduce efficacy of some vaccines.
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Yes – Coronasomia (those suffering sleepless nights due to the pandemic) is a thing, and almost half of the nation (41%) is suffering from it, according to new research by health service company Cigna Europe. And, with three quarters of Brits stressed (74%), it’s no wonder we are tossing and turning our way through the pandemic. [1]

Alongside this worry, the lack of sleep we’re facing can be linked with feelings of fatigue and brain fog, together with social anxiety as we emerge from life after lockdown. This can have a major effect on our Whole Health with worries about finances, childcare, health concerns uncertainty, and struggling to transition back to normality, all connected.

Research has also shown that poor sleep can reduce efficacy of vaccines, with a 2020 study concluding that poor sleep before and after receiving an influenza vaccine affected the antibody responses. [2] As the UK continues its largest vaccine roll out on record, its never been more important for people to think about their well-being in Whole Health terms.

So, as part of Stress Awareness Month, Cigna Europe’s Clinical Director Dr. Peter Mills shares six top tips on how to help alleviate this stress, shake off the lockdown cobwebs to help break the Coronasomnia cycle and boost Whole Health.

Dr Peter Mills, Clinical Director at Cigna Europe

  • Regularly exercise or do a daily physical activity - one of the biggest and most effective therapies for people with sleep issues is activity; get the heart pumping.
  • A well-balanced diet - eat little and often rather than larger meals on fewer occasions to ensure you don’t feel sluggish.
  • Maintain a regular sleeping pattern – you should aim to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends and avoid the temptation to stay up late.
  • Meet a friend or family member for a walk or catch up with a loved one virtually - this line of communication will help take your mind off any stress you are feeling and shake off any brain fog that may be lingering.
  • Take that time to check in with yourself, self-care has never been so important - give your mind and body a break and relieve this stress. Whether it’s by reading a book, drawing a bath, or simply making an exciting meal.
  • Learning techniques from Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) – combatting stress is a life skill and we should be teaching this to people from an early age. Discover how to recognise a situation that drives negative emotions and how those emotions drive negative behaviours to change the way you think.

With the way Brits work and live having changed forever, Cigna Europe has recently announced a new, strategic overhaul to its healthcare plans - placing greater emphasis on putting the care back into healthcare through a ‘Whole Health’ approach, while helping people address significant disruption to their lives due to the pandemic.

The company’s new proposition follows extensive research into the current state and future of care delivery, recognising that Whole Health is more than just physical and mental health – it’s everything that makes up our world: our family, friends, work-life balance, access to care, finances and home environment. A difficulty in any one of these areas can have an immediate knock on effect on a person’s whole health. Cigna Europe is working with employers to educate them on the wide range of aspects that make up Whole Health and how best to care for their employees, not just physically and mentally, during COVID-19 and beyond.

For further information and to be kept up to date with the latest offerings and news from within Cigna Europe, please visit https://www.cignaglobal.com/blog/company-news and https://comms.cignaglobal.com/wholehealth-europe.

Sources:

[1] Cigna Covid-19 global impact survey overview of UK/Europe, January 2021

[2] Prather A, Pressman S, Miller G, Cohen S. Temporal Links Between Self-Reported Sleep and Antibody Responses to the Influenza Vaccine. Int J. Behav. Med. (2020) doi:10.1007/s12529-020-09879-4.

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