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More than half of Suffolk residents are not getting good sleep during the COVID-19 pandemic

During Mental Health Awareness Week (18th May – 24th May) independent mental health charity, Suffolk Mind has released the results of a survey looking at the impact the coronavirus pandemic on mental health.

The research suggests 53% of us are not feeling rested after sleep. Groups who are most affected are:

  • 87% of under 25’s
  • 85% of those in full time work
  • 78% of people unable to work

Sleep is key to emotional wellbeing and we all need the right amount and quality in a 24 hour period – about eight hours for the average adult, and less as we get older.

Naomi Simons, Research and Evaluation Manager said: “Sleep is often the first thing to go when someone is struggling with their mental health. Getting the right balance between dream sleep and other types of sleep, including deep recuperative sleep, can be affected by how well you are meeting other key emotional needs.

“Our research shows nearly two-fifths of people are not meeting their need for meaning and purpose at the moment. That could be due to losing work or being furloughed, which could lead to worry and in turn, poor quality sleep. Many people are also struggling to meet needs for community, status and receiving attention.”

Suffolk Mind has put the following five top tips together to help you get a better night’s sleep:

  • Work on addressing unmet emotional needs – so that there is less to worry about! Use the Emotional Needs Audit here.
  • Have regular times for going to bed and getting up – and stick to them
  • Cut down on caffeine in the second half of the day
  • Avoid watching TV or internet surfing in the two hours before we go to bed
  • Use blackout blinds and/or eye masks to block out the light

The research has been conducted by Suffolk Mind to help inform the county’s response to Coronavirus. Other findings include:

  • 53% of people are not meeting their emotional need for community
  • 43% are not meeting their need for status
  • 38% don’t feel they receive enough attention

Jon Neal, CEO of Suffolk Mind said: “It’s really important we capture this data, so we can work on resources and services to help people with their own mental health – and not just now, but in the future when things change again.

“It is a difficult time for many at the moment, so we have been creating online blogs, videos and activities for children and adults to encourage them to meet their own emotional needs.”

“We have also launched new services including counselling for our vital NHS and care workers, support for over 70s and men.”

To access our online resources, click here. You can also still take part in the Emotional Needs and Resources survey here.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 18th May 2020

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