The outbreak of COVID-19 and the unrest taking place across the country, is stressful for people. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. People react in different ways and one of those is difficulty sleeping.

“Stress and anxiety may cause sleeping problems or make existing problems worse.  The risks of inadequate sleep extend way beyond tiredness. Sleeplessness can lead to poor performance at work or school, increased risk of injury, moodiness and health problems.”

Alexander Gelfer, MD
Medical Director, SleepCare Centers, Kenmore Mercy Hospital, St. Joseph Campus

In addition to anxiety, those with sleep disorders are often at risk for heart disease, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Dr. Alexander Gelfer, medical director of the sleep centers at Kenmore Mercy and Sisters of Charity’s St. Joseph Campus, suggests some simple strategies for a good night’s sleep:

➡️ Meditate. Quieting your mind can lead to a restful night. Start with sitting quietly and focusing on your inhale and exhale. There are a number of apps that will help guide you, too.

➡️ Take time to wind down. A healthy bedtime routine allows your body and mind time to slow down before lights out. Take at least half an hour to play quiet music, take a bath, or read a book.

➡️ Play music. Soft, calming music can lower your blood pressure and relax your mind and body.

➡️ Exercise. Research shows that regular exercisers fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. Regular exercise provides an outlet for frustrations and releases mood-enhancing endorphins. Yoga is also effective for reducing anxiety and stress.

➡️ Put it on paper. When your brain starts swirling, write down what is troubling you, so your brain can let go of it. This works especially well with growing to-do lists.

➡️ Stay clear of stressful activities before bedtime. Stay away from heated social media exchanges and skip the evening news.

Help for Restless Sleep

Occasional anxiety is not a cause for concern, but many Americans experience much more acute, recurring problems. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder affecting 3 million Americans that is characterized by the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for extended periods of time.

If managing your bed time stress continues, it may be time to call sleep specialist. Call Catholic Health at (716) 447-6205 to find one that is best for you.


Find a Sleep Specialist Near You
Call (716) 706-2112

Request An Appointment

Fill out a quick form and a Catholic Health representative will call you to schedule an appointment.

Request an Appointment