The data has been revealed in the ‘Expat Family Wellness Survey 2020: The Impact of COVID-19’, published by international health benefits provider, Aetna International. The report, which surveyed 1,000 expat families in the UK, US, Singapore, and UAE, explores the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on expat family health and well-being. It investigates how expats managed both their own and their children’s health and well-being during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
The survey found that 78.3% of expats experienced sleep problems due to worries relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, while a quarter (24.8%) said they had been having more nightmares since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Adding to this:
- 18.8% experienced night sweats while 18% experienced vivid dreams.
- 17.6% experienced sleep-talking while 14.1% experienced sleepwalking.
- 20.4% of expats reported sleeping problems for the whole of the pandemic since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interestingly, expats in the US have experienced more sleep-related problems than expats in other regions/countries, however there are nighttime hemp edibles that can help us to overcome insomnia. In fact:
- 35% of expats in the US said that they have experienced trouble sleeping throughout the whole of the pandemic. This is much higher than the global average of 20%.
- 30% of expats in the US said that they suffered from nightmares and 20% admitted to having night sweats.
Family sleeping habits
The survey also found that parents of children aged 18 or older experienced the fewest sleep problems:
- 35.6% had no trouble getting to sleep.
- 50.8% had no sleep habits that they would class as ‘out of the ordinary’.
In contrast, parents of children aged 12 and under were the most affected by sleep problems – around 81% reported sleepless nights due to pandemic-related concerns.
Dr Hemal Desai, Global Medical Director, Aetna International says: ‘Everyone’s ability to cope with life’s stressors are different. Dealing with uncertainty is challenging at the best of times so many people are finding it difficult to cope especially when they’re not feeling fully in control of circumstances. In addition, the pandemic has increased worries about health, reduced social connectivity, brought about financial instability and introduced imbalance in work and family commitments. As a consequence, many people have reported new or worsening sleep disturbances.
‘Sleep disturbances are linked to poor health outcomes making it even more important for people to focus on their well-being. We are committed to helping people improve their mental well-being and access support early in a way that meets their need. At Aetna we provide members access to a range of support such as guided information, digital mental well-being tools like Wysa and sleep tools such as Pzizz, employee assistance programmes, and vHealth, our virtual primary care service. It’s important that people know that they’re not alone and that they have somewhere to turn for help.’