Your sleep has been horrible in 2020 — here’s why you should be worried

The coronavirus pandemic has created an ocean of physical (and mental) maladies to Americans everywhere this year. “Maskne” continues to be thing.

Sudden hair loss — or shock hair loss — popped up more often than usual due to the traumatic events and experiences everyone was sharing. Doomscrolling entered its way into the vernacular (and don’t forget about the election too).

Perhaps one of the most troubling side effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Americans is how it’s impacted our sleep — and that could be very troubling in the longterm.

Fifty-one percent of Americans said that 2020 has been the worst year for sleep in their lives, with six in 10 Americans saying that righting their sleep patterns is their top priority heading into the next year.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Hatch, interviewed 2,000 Americans on their sleeping habits throughout 2020. While there were many distractors that have plagued sleepers, such as the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the election in November, a combination of all three was the main culprit for poor sleep, according to the survey.

Thirty-four percent of respondents said that consuming too much news — or doomscrolling — was the reason for them getting such poor sleep, while 22% of people said spending too much time around family robbed them of sleep.

Other events such as spending too much time on Zoom (16%) and burnout from working remotely during the pandemic (16%) contributed to poor sleep, according to respondents. Even 13% of respondents said they stayed up too late to watch “Tiger King.”

“Sleep plays a major role in nearly every aspect of our health,” Ann Crady Weiss, co-founder and CEO of Hatch, said in a press release. “In difficult or stressful times, sleep always seems to get pushed to the bottom of the priority list, when in reality our ability to handle those other priorities diminishes rapidly as our sleep quality declines. Our hope is for everyone to take a step back in 2021 and put their sleep wellness at the top of their list.”

With improved sleep on the minds of more than half of Americans for next year, 33% of respondents said they’re taking a closer look at their diet and how it impacts their sleep. That change could come at a good time considering the American Heart Association just released findings suggesting healthy sleep habits could help lower risk of heart failure.

The new study, published in the journal Circulation, found that adults with healthy sleep patterns — i.e 7-8 hours a day, no insomnia, snoring, or excessive daytime sleepiness — had a 42% lower risk of heart failure compared to those with unhealthy sleep patterns.