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Indians having trouble sleeping: SEMrush study

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The study recorded significant uptick in online searches having keywords ‘how to sleep fast’, ‘how to sleep’, ‘how to get to sleep’, ‘how to get to sleep fast’, ‘how to sleep early’, ‘how to get good sleep’

SEMrush study has captured data showing that during the time of COVID-19, Indians are having trouble sleeping. The study recorded a significant uptick in online searches having keywords ‘how to sleep fast’, ‘how to sleep’, ‘how to get to sleep’, ‘how to get to sleep fast’, ‘how to sleep early’, ‘how to get good sleep’. From March to April searches for each keyword respectively increased by 82 per cent, 82 per cent, 124 per cent, 84 per cent, 237 per cent, 86 per cent, and 86 per cent. In April, each keyword respectively was searched, in thousands, 40.5, 18.1, 12.1, 8.1, 8.1, 5.4, and 5.4 times.

The study also captured spikes in the number of searches related to sleep between February and April. This data also showed a significant increase in the number of searches related to sleep. The percentage of times searches having keywords like ‘sleeping pills’, ‘how to sleep’, ‘how to fall asleep’, ‘can’t sleep’, ‘I can’t sleep’, and ‘sleep issues’, respectively, increased between February and April was 22 per cent, 123 per cent, 179 per cent, 125 per cent, 125 per cent, and 84 per cent.

The study found that from March to April there was a significant increase in the number of times keywords like ‘sleep pills’, ‘sleep paralysis’, and ‘how to sleep fast’ were searched. The percentage increase in the number of times each keyword respectively was searched was 22 per cent, 82 per cent, and 82 per cent.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Indians who have not been infected by the virus are suffering from its impact. The SEMrush study highlights that many people’s sleep patterns have been disturbed by the lockdown created to combat the disease. Heightened anxiety and lack of exercise and general inactivity are also likely reasons many are having trouble sleeping.

In India, many more people than those captured by the study are suddenly having trouble sleeping. The study is skewed as the overwhelming majority of those who use search engines are relatively young and affluent. In short, the research suggests that in addition to COVID-19, there is a sudden and parallel insomnia pandemic in India.

Speaking about the results of the study Fernando Angulo, Head, Communications, SEMrush said ‘Our study has captured another unpleasant side-effect of the war against COVID-19. There are likely lakhs if not more people who upon being forcibly confined to their homes, are having trouble sleeping. Their sleep patterns have been altered because their daily rhythms have changed dramatically. Also, they are likely anxious and concerned about themselves, their families, and the future. We expect such individuals will continue suffering from sleep-related issues as long as the battle against COVID-19 rages.

He further added, “For businesses in the sleep industry, they present an opportunity to serve. Companies, including those that manufacture herbal sleep remedies and high-quality mattresses, have an opportunity to reach out to those suffering from sleep-related issues. By selling products to such consumers, businesses can ease their difficulties.”

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