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Experts say stress of pandemic, going back to school could cause sleep problems

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 5:33 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Experts say the stress of the pandemic, and heading back to school could be what’s keeping you up at night.

John Brabson, the Medical director for Mercy Springfield’s Sleep Disorder Center tells KY3 while he is not seeing an increase in new patients, the insomnia patients he does have are experiencing a flare up of symptoms right now.

”It’s just a stressful time and insomnia goes up with stress,” said Brabson.

He said most people will experience insomnia at one point or another. One of the best ways to cope with it is behavioral therapy.

”Just like medicines, there’s a wide variety of different options for that,” Brabson said.

Some of those are avoiding caffeine, creating a routine, and taking time in your day to process what is causing your stress.

“Don’t have anything scheduled to do, just kind of think about what is going on so when you get in bed that’s kind of processed already, so you can more try to put your brain in a more relaxed, ready to go to sleep mode,” Brabson said.

For many kids, heading back to school can cause some anxiety.

”Youth are often times worried about ‘how am i going to do online learning, that’s hard for me’ or again ‘am I going to get sick, am I going to get my grandparents sick?’ that’s something we’re hearing from a lot of youth,” said Amy Hill, system director of school based Services at Burrell Behavioral Health.

Hill said there are warning signs to watch out for.

”If you notice that your kid is really just sleeping all say long or unable to sleep at night, sleeping too much, sleeping too little,” she said. “Any kind of drastic change in patterns of behavior or sleep patters would definitely be a warning sign.”

Hill said creating a routine now is important.

”Not wait until the night before school starts ,be talking about these things with your kids now, helping them prepare and plan for ‘this might look different but we’ll get through it together,” Hill said.

Burrell’s main number for connection to school-based services is 417-761-5000. Burrell’s crisis number for emergency behavioral health help is 800-494-7355

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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