Given the unprecedented challenges of recent months, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many of us are experiencing sleep deprivation.
In a recent survey conducted in the United Kingdom, around 75% of respondents said that unease around the COVID-19 outbreak has caused sleep disruption, while 77% reported that lack of sleep has interfered with their day-to-day functioning.
Lack of sleep can lead to several mental and physical health problems, including depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity, highlighting the importance of getting a sufficient amount of shut-eye.
With this in mind, we decided to dig a little deeper into the world of sleep this month. We explored the science behind slumber and provided you with further information and resources to help you get a good night’s sleep.
“Definitely, people are reporting more dream recall, more vivid dreams, more bizarre dreams, and more anxious dreams since March,” Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, told us.
We aimed to dispel some of the widespread myths surrounding sleep with the first of our Medical Myths series. Does your brain really shut down during sleep? This article helps clear things up.
We also looked at racial disparities in sleep, including why Black Americans are more likely to experience sleep deprivation than white Americans. In a follow-up piece, physicians weighed in on what might explain these disparities.
To find more information and resources on sleep, visit our dedicated hub.
Continuing our coverage of racial disparities, we recently published an article on how to be an ally. This important piece highlights the need for all of us to be active in the fight against racism.
“The burden of fighting against racial inequality must not fall on Black people exclusively. The recognition of this fact is necessary when fighting to keep the movement alive in demanding for tactical change.”
In alignment with World Mosquito Day this month, we took an in-depth look at how climate change has impacted the spread of West Nile virus in the United States. It’s certainly an interesting read.
Other content that has piqued your interest this August includes our coverage of research suggesting that an existing drug called Ebselen — previously used to treat bipolar disorder and hearing loss — may help combat COVID-19. You were also interested in our article on a study that suggests COVID-19 symptoms may appear in a certain order.
For those of you who wish to take a break from COVID-19-related news, the latest in our Recovery Room series looks at what’s been happening elsewhere in the world of medical research.
I’ll return next month with more on what you’ve been reading.
Until then, be safe, happy, and healthy.
Honor Whiteman, Editorial Director