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Covid-19: A Year of Fatigue

26th March 2021

Medical staff and essential workers were front and center early in the pandemic. As cases started to rise, medical staff started to fear they would burnout.

The Covid fatigue that people say they were experiencing in the news wasn’t always “sleep-related fatigue”. Covid fatigue started accumulating due to mental and sleep related fatigue.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Families were disrupted, work patterns were thrown off, schools were a mess, and many felt isolated.

Almost everyone started feeling mentally fatigued just talking about Covid.

There were real impacts on our health and wellness, and for many of us this was due to a downturn in our sleep.

Mental Fatigue

Initially there was anxiety and stress around the unknown health impacts, and economic impacts of the pandemic.

People were under immense stress trying to understand what was happening, and there were mixed reports over how serious the pandemic was, how to stay safe and what to do.

For many people work and home lives collided, in some cases with significant stress.  As a father teaching 3 kids at home and trying to run a business I can vouch for the mental anxiety and sleepless nights.

Not surprisingly anxiety and stress have an intimate relationship with sleep, and can impact sleep quality, which in turn can impact our health in a number of ways.

Sleep-Related Fatigue

So what’s a little lost sleep?  We’ve all been there, that restless night, late night, or all nighter.  Clinton Marquardt is a Sleep & Fatigue Specialist and has a few examples of the toll fatigue can take on our bodies:

  • Sleep plays a vital role in our immune system functioning.
  • Severe sleep deprivation can leave us impaired in a manner similar to being under the influence of alcohol.
  • During the COVID crisis, high anxiety and stress or high workloads may be making it hard to squeeze in a full 8 hours every night.
  • Dropping your sleep to 6 hours or less for as little as 5 days in a row makes you 4.24 times as likely to catch the common cold.
  • But what about Covid 19? The research is still coming in, but why wait?
  • Check out this article with tips for improving your sleep from some of the World’s most respected sleep researchers and clinicians: https://sleepanddreams.com/?p=5394

That Old Saying

Photo by Mike from Pexels

The bottom line is that sleep plays an integral role on the status of your physical and mental health, and the value of a good nights sleep cannot be underestimated. Shakespeare eloquently reminded us of this 400 years ago:

“Sleep that soothes away all our worries. Sleep that puts each day to rest. Sleep that relieves the weary laborer and heals hurt minds.”

Join us April 22nd for our Wellness in The Workplace Event to hear Clinton Marquardt. He is one of Canada’s top sleep & fatigue specialists and will continue this discussion of sleep’s role in mental and physical health, safety and wellness.

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