Insomnia on the rise in Belgium due to stress of coronavirus crisis and lockdowns
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Insomnia on the rise in Belgium due to stress of coronavirus crisis and lockdowns

Credit: Belga

Around one in three people living in Belgium slept badly during the second lockdown, according to a study by the Free University of Brussels and the city’s Brugmann Hospital.

The number of people suffering from moderate to severe symptoms of insomnia rose to 29%, around four times more than at the start of 2020 when just 7-8% reported these complaints, De Standaard reported on Wednesday based on findings of the study.

“These are serious complaints, for which people should actually be treated,” professor of behavioural neuroscience Olivier Mairesse, who led the study, said.

During the first lockdown last year, this figure rose to 19% and continued to increase during the second lockdown, the study on 3,224 people in Belgium showed.

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Researchers found that the fear of the virus itself seemed to play a smaller role in affecting our sleep than the stress associated with coronavirus measures, and the lack of physical contact between people.

They also reported that people are going to sleep and getting up much later and that people are suffering from having nightmares more often, according to De Standaard.

Lauren Walker
The Brusels Times