.Study: Online searches for insomnia grow more than 60% during COVID-19 pandemic

A new concern develops as collateral damage from the coronavirus pandemic, as researchers worry about effects the pandemic will have on people’ sleeping habits.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts have found that people are using Google search a bit differently, with more people researching “chest pains” and “anxiety,” and according to a new study, sleeping troubles searches are now spiking.

According to researchers from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, online searches for “insomnia” spiked as people were mandated to stay at home as the pandemic started.

“I think it’s safe to say, based on our findings as well as those from survey studies showing an increased level of insomnia symptoms in certain populations, that a lot of people were having trouble sleeping during the first months of the pandemic,” said researcher Kirsi-Marja Zitting.

The researchers analyzed Google search data from 2004 through 2020 and were specifically interested in the word “insomnia,” and they looked at how frequently it was searched in recent months.

The researchers learned that in the early part of 2020, there were fewer searches for insomnia than in recent years. However, by March, Google searches for the sleeping condition surged.

By the end of May, the term insomnia had been searched 60 percent more often than in the past three years and the term “insomnia” was searched closed to 3- million times before the year was half over.

The study is published online as an accepted paper in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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