Worried Brits are losing up to two hours of sleep a night worrying about the pandemic and increase their own anxiety by ‘doomscrolling’ before going to bed.
Some 62 per cent admit to obsessively watching the news on their phone or TV before nodding off.
And 47 per cent spend up to half an hour continuing to surf or scroll through bad news on their phones – even if it is saddening, disheartening, or depressing.
Many found images of Boris Johnson and Chris Whitty stressful, as well as a packed London Underground tube train – and PPE.
A study of 2,000 adults found half are losing between an hour and two hours of shut-eye every night.
But with millions of people being plunged into tougher lockdown measures, bad dreams are not the only things keeping Brits tossing and turning throughout the night.
Wellness brand CBII asked Brits what is making them lose sleep and causing anxiety during Covid-19,Images of Boris Johnson and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty topped the Covid stress poll with an extraordinary 94 per cent claiming pictures of the pair caused a huge spike in anxiety.
More than half of women (56 per cent) confessed their stress levels go up when they see a photo of Boris, while a further 42 per cent of those polled admitted Whitty made them anxious.
Worryingly, 35 per cent of adults feel heightened anxiety after the Prime Minister’s COVID updates on the news, with a further 28 per cent feeling depressed, 21 per cent feeling angry and 19 per cent sad.
Phoebe White, marketing manager at CBII, said: “These are very emotionally exhausting times, for everyone, and many of us are suffering from heightened symptoms of anxiety or struggling to sleep at night more than usual.
“Using CBD products can provide a safe, natural remedy to help calm anxiety and support a restful night’s sleep, so you can wake up feeling refreshed, restored, and ready to take on the world.
“We recently ran a survey of our customers, of which 70 per cent of the respondents said they use CBD for sleep and anxiety”
It also emerged 35 per cent of Brits are currently struggling with anxiety for the first time due to the stress of Covid-19.
Almost a quarter (23 per cent) have been affected so badly that they have had to consult a medical professional for advice, with 13 per cent are taking a chance with medication to help get through their daily struggles.
Since the pandemic started, 31 per cent of adults are struggling to wind down after work, with 54 per cent taking action to try and improve their sleeping.
Nearly half – 47 per cent – choose to read a book, 26 per cent limit their news consumption and 29 per cent rely on music to lull them to sleep.
Almost one in four (24 per cent) have resorted to turning their phone off hours before going to bed to solve sleepless nights, while 26 per cent are stopping all conversation about Covid-19 in their household in the run up to sleep.
However, the research also found that it’s not just political and medical figures raising the stress levels of Brits at this time.
Three quarters of Brits (74 per cent) found an image of a packed tube to be stress inducing and more than 60 per cent felt the same just looking at an image of basic PPE.
Charlotte Dormon, holistic health coach, said: “There are a few things that you can do to build better sleep habits – one of them in particular is to take CBD. That’s something I absolutely swear by.
“If you’re someone who suffers from anxiety, CBD is a really good solution for you.
“Take CBD under the tongue, a few drops under there, I’d like to say give it a go – it certainly worked for me.”
Internationally award-winning research fellow in clinical psychopharmacology at UCL, Dr. Chandni Hindocha, said: “In terms of psychopharmacology, we do know that CBD definitely, at high doses, affects sleep and anxiety.”
In a survey of UK CBD users, Dr. Hindocha found that anxiety was a top reason for taking CBD.
She added: “People are desperate because their current medical treatments are failing them.
“Society is more stressed than it’s ever been and here comes a potential little bottle that can maybe fix that for you, so why not try it?”
The research also found that politics and medical issues aren’t the only things spiking anxiety during the pandemic, as toilet paper shortages (29 per cent), supermarket queues (28 per cent) and empty bank accounts (25 per cent) are also causing stress levels to increase.
Also, featuring high up the list of triggers is family safety, with one in 10 adults thinking about the safety of their loved ones up to five times a day.
Many are also seeing the physical effects of the pandemic with 43 per cent admitting gaining weight during lockdown.
And one in five have stopped exercising completely since the pandemic began.
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