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The Big Number: 36 percent of adults worldwide suffer sleep problem during the pandemic


As many as 36 percent of adults have reported sleep problems during the pandemic, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The findings are based on data from 44 studies involving 54,231 people in the United States and 12 other countries. Most affected were coronavirus patients, with 75 percent of them experiencing disturbed sleep.

About 36 percent of health-care workers and 32 percent of the general population also have had sleep issues during the pandemic.

A recent University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging reported similar sleep disturbance issues related to the pandemic. It found that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. adults 50 and older say they have had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at least once a week — which is double the number who reported having these problems a few years earlier.

Beyond making you tired the next day, lack of sleep raises your risk for health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, dementia and more. Good sleep, on the other hand, can improve your mood and health overall and benefit your brain, helping you think clearly and focus on tasks. Standard recommendations call for adults to get at least seven hours of sleep each night — seven to nine hours until age 64, seven to eight hours from age 65 on. About a third of adults get less than the recommended amount, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

— Linda Searing

Good sleep means more than getting enough hours. A consistent schedule matters, too.

The pandemic is ruining our sleep. Experts say ‘coronasomnia’ could imperil public health.