Stress over coronavirus coverage spurs most Americans to stop watching nightly news

NEW YORK — There’s no question the coronavirus pandemic is dominating the daily news headlines throughout 2020. Those nonstop updates on COVID-19 however, aren’t making anyone feel better about their life in quarantine. A new survey finds the majority of Americans feel no news is better than any news at all before bed. Six in 10 respondents say the coronavirus news cycle negatively impacts their mental health.

The OnePoll survey of 2,000 Americans also reveals 57 percent no longer watch the nightly news because it stresses them out. Researchers, commissioned by Mattress Advisor, find all this stress is affecting sleep habits across the country. Over half the poll believes pandemic-related stress is ruining their nightly sleep cycle.

Coronavirus news not only thing causing poor sleep

When it comes to sleep, 78 percent agree good mental health plays a major role in how restful their night is. Despite this, over 40 percent say their current sleep schedule is the biggest stress point in their life. Work life problems, financial trouble, and issues with their sex lives are also causing Americans stress during the pandemic.

So how is the country dealing with these restless nights? Many are trying to improve their physical health in a quest for better sleep. Over a third of respondents are changing their diets and eating healthier, while three in 10 are exercising more.

Researchers say 27 percent are turning to a good book before bed and the same number are listening to music before falling asleep. One in five have a very different approach to relaxation: they’re having more sex to improve their sleep schedule.

“Challenging as it may be, getting a good night’s sleep is important for the health of every member of your household,” Mattress Advisor’s Certified Sleep Science Coach Ashley Little says in a statement.

Work and family life collide

The survey finds 1,500 of those polled are currently working from home. Of those Americans, nearly half say they didn’t realize how important separating work and home life was until they were in isolation. Six in 10 add they have a hard time drawing the line between the two during quarantine.

“Designating physical spaces in your home reserved for your working hours may be able to help create a mental distinction between work and your personal home life,” Little recommends. “Particularly avoiding bringing work into the bedroom can help maintain that space as an area to wind down both mentally and physically at the end of the day.”

For parents, this task may be even tougher. Out of 1,300 respondents with children, 65 percent say they also feel stress when their kid’s sleep schedule is disrupted. Over a third say putting their children to sleep is harder while sheltering in place.

“Sticking to a routine and maintaining proper sleep hygiene habits like avoiding technology, caffeine, or sugars late in the evenings can help make bedtime a little easier for everyone,” Little suggests.

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