Sleep-deprived: With pandemic and election wearing on people, East Tennesseans say they are losing sleep

From sleep apps to disconnecting, there are ways to try to improve sleep.
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 11:41 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - East Tennesseans are running on little sleep these days.

From the COVID-19 pandemic to an election that just doesn’t seem to stop grabbing headlines, many say they’re losing sleep stressing over the world around them.

”Definitely stress, and anxiety from work, life, just things in general,” said Samantha Graffius.

The pandemic, which in just two months will have been at the center of people’s minds for one year, is a common theme amongst things keeping folks up at night.

”With the pandemic, you know I want to be able to relax, man, I want to be able to travel like I used to, plus I work 12 hours a day at the post office,” said “Buckeye” Terry Gault.

Karen Hoffman is a licensed clinical social worker and says a lot of falling asleep is letting the mind relax.

”One of the problems is we often stay busty right until we lay down,” said Hoffman. ”Turn off social media, turn off programming that may be upsetting, maybe watch an uplifting movie, or read a book, draw a bath, or do some gentle stretching.”

Hoffman says things like your cell phone, and scrolling through social media at night, or your email, actually hurt your chances of falling asleep because the blue light is known to keep the brain triggered into thinking it is time to stay awake.

While many turn to certain things to fall asleep like noisemakers, and diffusers, Hoffman says whatever works for someone is okay to use because sleep and health are what is most important.

”It won’t do any help to get run down or to get raged so to put self-care as a priority for these next several months,” said Hoffman.

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