Pandemic stress takes a toll on sleep and dental health

The coronavirus pandemic has been disrupting many people’s daily rhythms — including when they usually get up for work, when they engage in social activities, and when they eat — which could all affect sleep quality and duration. That’s according to psychologist Kate Kaplan. Photo by Brian Hardzinski/KCRW

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought more stress and disruptions to regular routines. People are sleeping less well and grinding their teeth more. “People who've had insomnia prior to the coronavirus epidemic have seen their symptoms worsen. People who have not struggled with insomnia before are finding they’re having … nuanced set of cases,” says Kate Kaplan, a psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders. 

Also, Santa Monica-based dentist Ellie Farahmand says she’s been seeing more cracked teeth now. “I’m seeing at least one or two cracked teeth a day. … This has to be something due to the fact that people are very stressed right now. … It hasn’t eased up, unfortunately.