UArizona professor explains how to help sleep issues from COVID anxiety

Mar 22, 2021, 4:45 AM | Updated: 6:06 am
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX – Sleeping disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia were worsened by the pandemic so much that a new term was coined to describe sleeping issues brought on by anxiety related to COVID-19 – coronasomnia.

Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy, professor of medicine at the University of Arizona and medical director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at Banner University Medical Center Tucson, explained the most common areas of concern he sees are worries of where the pandemic is headed amid new variants and economic stresses.

“We see patients in the clinic who express these concerns or problems and as a result, their sleep is one of the first things to suffer,” he said.

“More and more research is showing how sleep is important for the body’s normal physiology to function well. It’s important for every single organ system.”

That is why Parthasarathy recommended taking proactive steps to improve sleep quality and quantity amid the present uncertainty of COVID-19.

“What people need to do is get their usual amount of steps or exercise in the morning, late morning or early afternoon, but not in the evening or close to bedtime,” Parthasarathy said.

He also emphasized the importance of trying to eat healthy throughout the day, avoiding blue light screens – such as phones, laptops and TVs – right before falling asleep and setting a regular time to fall asleep and wake up.

Parthasarathy advised avoiding alcohol as a “sleeping pill,” saying it might help people fall asleep but it impacts the quality of sleep.

He said adults need at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep, while children and adolescents need more.

If people have trouble sleeping or have concerns regarding sleep, Parthasarathy recommended talking to a doctor – especially minorities and those with high-demand jobs.

He also advised taking advantage of emotional support hotlines to help deal with pandemic-related anxiety.

To participate in a National Institute of Health-funded study examining COVID-19 related practices, including sleep, Parthasarathy asked interested individuals to text JOIN to 844-844-3004.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook File Photo/Lake Pleasant Regional Park...
Luke Forstner

Valley expert shares lake safety tips for Memorial Day weekend

People looking to cool off at a lake this Memorial Day weekend are asked to do so safely after a string of drownings.
5 hours ago
VR equipment and a version of the TASER 7 that utilizes VR technology for training, is demonstrated...
Taylor Tasler

Phoenix Police use virtual reality headsets to train for calls in the field

The Phoenix Police Department is one of the first law enforcement agencies in the country to use virtual reality to provide officers training in the field. 
5 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fan Fusion,  Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy...

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around the Valley for May 27-29

Need something to do? Here's a look at some of the biggest events happening around the metro Phoenix area for the weekend of May 27-29.
5 hours ago
(ADOT Flickr Photo)...

No Valley freeway closures planned for Memorial Day weekend

Drivers won't have to worry about scheduled closures on metro Phoenix freeways this Memorial Day weekend, ADOT said.
5 hours ago
Marcos Anthony Herrera and Anthony Michael Murray (Scottsdale Police Department Photo)...

Scottsdale police arrest 2 men in string of robberies, burglaries

Scottsdale police arrested two men who are allegedly responsible for at least 12 separate crimes across metro Phoenix, authorities said Thursday.
5 hours ago
Jose Dioicio Buelna. (Arizona Attorney General's Office Photo)...

Arizona man sentenced to 5 years for selling fentanyl

An Arizona man was sentenced to five years in prison last week for his role in a drug trafficking organization, authorities said. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
UArizona professor explains how to help sleep issues from COVID anxiety