WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports an increase in sleeping problems in more than half of all Americans. A lot of those relate to COVID stressors.

So many people have challenges getting to sleep, but for some, it’s getting worse.

Joseph Baba, the owner of TMJ and Sleep Center of Kansas, said the symptoms are worse in the cases coming in.

“Most of what we deal with are existing problems that are now made worse, so if people come in with worse dreams with dreams more associated with COVID, that’s not surprising,” said Baba. 

Baba said insomnia cases are more intense. Since sleep can be affected through mental, physical and emotional issues, the added stressors from COVID can take a toll on people. 

Baba’s advice is to breathe through your nose to help calm your mind. He said this would help you fall asleep, and it allows the lungs to get more oxygen. In addition, he said it’ll help you stay healthy because the nose acts as a filter to help prevent some small particles in the air from getting into the lungs. 

Another trick is to begin a sleep routine, so your body can naturally know when it’s time to wake up and go to bed. You can do this by noting how many hours it takes you to wake up naturally and then plan your days out based on that amount of time.

If these don’t do the trick, it may be time to talk with your doctor. 

Charles Boyd has dealt with sleep apnea for more than 10 years. Boyd said the moment he got help from the doctor, his life changed. 

“It was like I was going from a life that was black and white, to one that was in color, to where I could actually experience things more vividly and, you know, be more connected with my loved ones and life itself,” said Boyd. “Find the sleep center and get some diagnosis because sometimes you have mild symptoms, sometimes some people need surgery to get past that, you will know if you go to see a doctor.”