Upon the novel coronavirus outbreak, many people have had short-term insomnia. This is a normal symptom that people often have in the face of external pressure and stressful event. Most people will return to the normal after the events. Holding a positive attitude is very important: don’t worry too much about it and learn to accept it. On the contrary, if someone doesn’t deal with it properly and comes up with some bad ideas or develop bad habits, the short-term insomnia can easily turn into chronic insomnia and he/she may even have depression or anxiety eventually. Therefore, relieving fears is essential for a good sleep during the outbreak. First of all, we need to obtain information about the epidemic from formal channels to avoiding unnecessary panic. Secondly, everyone should know something about healthy sleeping habits and measures to prevent insomnia.
Under the great stress and work pressure, it is worthy of healthcare workers’ attention about how to maintain mental health by oneself and how to prevent psychological trauma and stress disorders. Do not blame yourself for the pressure. Always be aware that one should be responsible for one’s health and remember to “start from myself; the personal health is for others”. In addition, some steps can be taken to reduce stress.
If insomnia or psychological disorders occur, you can perform the following steps in turn. And most people can improve their sleep without taking any medication with the following methods or even just using the first four steps.
1. Avoid panic, talk on the phone (or WeChat), and seek support from family and friends.
2. Examine yourself for issues with poor sleep hygiene and correct it.
3. Examine yourself for having harmful sleep perception and correct it.
4. Relaxation Training: do training not just before bed, but any time throughout the day when you feel nervous or uneasy.
5. Stimulus Control: Adhere to the principle of “get out of bed when you are sleepless; go back to the bed when you are sleepy”. And a few nights later, you can return to a normal sleep pattern.
6. Sleep Restriction: Limit time in bed. You can strictly follow the above method. If you can’t, it is also okay to reduce your time in bed to a degree that is available for you. Most importantly, you should set your bedtime and wake time.
7. Drug Therapy: For short-term insomnia in critical situations, if above-mentioned non-medicine therapies are ineffective, you can turn to sleeping pills (especially non-benzodiazepines). This is the simplest and most effective method, and short-term and intermittent use will not lead to addiction to these medications.
In a word, the best weapon for improving immunity during the outbreak is to get enough sleep. Amid the high incidence of infectious diseases or the change of seasons, work pressure or sleep shortage can easily lead to decrease in immunity, depression and anxiety. If so, remember to go to a corresponding outpatient service as soon as possible to undertake a relevant scale test. It is a good choice to adopt differentiation of TCM and treat your body and mind at the same time.