The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on many different populations in many different ways. For instance, women and mothers in particular, have been unequally affected compared to men.
Women still tend to shoulder the burden of domestic work even if they have full-time jobs themselves, and during the pandemic, those duties have increased, even more so for women who have children. Surveys have shown that women, who are more likely to work in pandemic-affected service jobs, experienced more job loss than men and suffered greater stress than men. Mothers reported spending more time on child care and in some cases being the only provider of child care despite also working from home.
COVID-19 effects on sleep patterns of mothers
Stress and anxiety are major contributors to insomnia, and both of these have increased significantly among mothers since the pandemic began. With schools and child care centers closed and fallback options, such as grandparents, unavailable due to efforts to avoid spreading the virus, many parents have found themselves at home caring for children while also working. In some cases, mothers have been having to help children with homeschooling in addition work full and part time jobs. In other cases, mothers have been dealing with the financial pressures from the loss of their own jobs.
The effects of COVID-19 on mothers include greater degrees of depression, anxiety and other types of psychological distress.
How have other parents dealt with the lack of sleep during COVID?
Sleep is a critical component in parents' maintenance of their emotional and physical health during the pandemic. Mothers of young children are already often sleep deprived, and the pandemic may have only exacerbated that deprivation.
Parents who are consistently dealing with a lack of sleep might want to consult with their doctors about possible solutions. Some parents have had some success by trading off times when each of them either works or focuses on caring for children. This can reduce some of the stress that is causing insomnia. Consistent schedules and regular exercise can also help keep everyone on track and can make it easier for both parents and children to sleep.
Many mothers may feel too overwhelmed to even seek solutions and might simply be trying to keep their heads above water as they struggle with juggling work, children and the general disruption created by COVID. While the physical effect of COVID seems to be more severe for men, the psychological effects of COVID on women appears to be much worse, and this in turn can also compromise their physical health.
How have some mothers adapted during Covid?
Dealing with the effects of COVID on mothers has meant turning to therapy for some women. While some women have experienced greater stress as a result of more time with their children, others have found that more quality time has strengthened their relationship with their children.
It's important to avoid stress and anxiety as much as possible and to get the sleep you need. These two things are major contributors to insomnia and there's been a significant increase in stress and anxiety among mothers since the pandemic began. If you or a loved one are suffering from insomnia, it is important to seek help.