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"Coronasomnia" and children

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Posted at 9:32 PM, Mar 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 00:32:17-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Coronasomnia is the inability to sleep due to pandemic stress.

Dr. Michelle M Perfect, an associate psychology professor at the University of Arizona says, the trend seems to be an increase in anxiety during these times that interferes with falling asleep and staying asleep.

“I’ve heard even families about the younger children are having that later sleep but some of them are getting enough sleep if they do sleep in in the morning because maybe they're having their school might start at a certain time they don't have to get up earlier to go to the school. So as school starts opening back up I would imagine that sleep schedules that everyone got used to might affect the amount of sleep someone gets,” said Perfect.

She says even before the pandemic, 80 percent of children in the U.S. reportedly already didn’t receive enough sleep; so she suspects that number went up in 2020.

“Nationally it's been well recognized that there's a mental health crisis in terms of children and adolescents, and adults, actually. You know lacking in socialization and the isolation and then a lot of loss as well,” said Perfect.

Perfect said parents can look out for children who over or under sleep as a sign of anxiety and the changing schedules during the emotions related to the times we are in.

“From six years old, to 12 or 13 you would you really want to target a minimum of nine hours of sleep up to about 12 hours and that's an overnight period because their school-age and then from 12 or 13 you want that you want at least eight to 10 hours of sleep is healthy sleep opportunity,” said Perfect.

And she says even if the number of hours fall short, the most important factor is consistency.