85ºF

Here’s why you may be losing sleep and having weird dreams during the COVID-19 pandemic

HOUSTON – Psychologists said there’s a connection between stress and sleep. So, of course, they predict right now a lot of people are struggling with sleep problems.

The explanation, according to psychologists, is our brains get flooded with all sorts of neurotransmitters and chemicals, like adrenaline and epinephrine. When they're activated, even if it's during the day, it can actually remain present while you're sleeping and that can interrupt the regular sleep cycle and cause weird dreams.

To help get a more restful night’s sleep:

Experts said try consuming less stressful information during the day.

Spend time outdoors since less time outside and exercising leads to sleep problems.

Avoid alcohol, self-medicating or eating meals at different times. Big lifestyle changes almost always affect sleep.

“Maintain a good diet, getting good exercise, making sure you’re getting good sleep. All those kinds of lifestyle factors along with helping healthy coping,” encouraged Matthew Gallagher, Psy.D., associate professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Houston. He said that should help relieve stress, anxiety and improve overall health during the pandemic.

These sleep changes are not permanent. Sleep experts say when we go back to normal routines, so can your sleep schedule. However, if you’re someone who gets so worried about not being able to fall asleep that you can’t, it could cause sleep anxiety which might require medical treatment.

More coronavirus coverage

Find cases by zip code: Harris County heat map shows coronavirus cases by ZIP code

Cases by county: A breakdown of how many coronavirus cases there are by county in the Houston area

• Answering your questions: We’ve got answers to dozens and dozens of your health and financial coronavirus questions

• Haley’s Health Inbox: KPRC 2 reporter Haley Hernandez answers questions readers are sending her every day

• Coronavirus charts: Who is getting coronavirus in the Houston area? We’ve crunched the data in these charts

• Follow the curve: This chart shows you the curve for Houston cases since March 15

• When it will peak: This is when each state is expected to peak in deaths from coronavirus

• Interactive map: This is what the coronavirus spread looks like right now across the world right now

• Support Local: Find all the ways you can help local businesses in Houston

• Get newsletters: Sign up for a daily newsletter on coronavirus news and Haley Hernandez’s health inbox newsletter