Struggling with sleep during the pandemic? Here's how to get a good night's rest

As a nation, the number of people who get the prescribed amount of sleep has dropped from 75% in 2008 to 64% in 2018.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With rising levels of anxiety, stress and disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic, more people say they're experiencing sleep issues. If you are one of those people, here are some things you can do to get a good night's rest.

Sleep seven hours to give your body a chance to reset. As a nation, the number of people who get the prescribed amount has dropped from 75% in 2008 to 64% in 2018.

Health science researcher Jagdish Khubchandani first analyzed the sleep habits of 150,000 Americans through 2018 and then updated those results earlier this year.

"You'll find that there are some groups who sleep lesser than five, four (hours). People with multiple jobs in the lowest socioeconomic strata, people in the South, police officers, doctors, nurses." Khubchandani says.

Researchers say only 50% of police officers and 55% of health care workers reported getting enough sleep. Over time, the effects of sleep deprivation adds up.

"And in the long run, you continue to gain weight. You have a risk of heart disease, cancers and stroke because sleep is like a medicine," Khubchandani continues.

Experts say good sleep hygiene is key. That means keeping the same sleep schedule even on the weekends. Avoid caffeine, and heavy or sugary foods in the evening. Studies also show cutting back on screen time, especially before bed, can help, too.

Researchers say one other new finding involves women and sleep. The percentage of women reporting too little sleep grew from 31% in 2010 to almost 36% in 2018 and those numbers are also projected to grow this year due to greater socioeconomic stress and work-life balance issues.
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