Most people say this has been the worst year for sleeping at night and that it is kicking their butt during the day. It's no wonder, what with everything we've been through. And it isn't over yet.

A study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Hatch finds that 51 percent of respondents say 2020 was the worst year for sleep, and 42 percent say they can't remember the last time they had a good night's sleep. Six in 10 say they plan to make improving their sleep a priority for next year.

Fox News reports on the poll which says too much time spent watching the news keeps 34 percent of Americans up at night. Twenty-two percent say too much time with family members during the pandemic keeps them awake. Zoom fatigue, watching Netflix, and working from home are also big factors mentioned by the sleep-deprived.

We've had a lot to worry about this year. Everything from the pandemic, murder hornets, four-foot lizards in the Southeast, earthquakes in South Dartmouth, and asteroids have made us toss and turn. The Red Sox and Patriots have done their share to give us angst as well.

Elections, riots, masks, corruption, and climate change have added to our many woes in 2020.

Of course, there are those with more serious problems such as job and business losses, kids out of school, and sick relatives to worry about. The struggle is real for those folks.

Thirty-four percent of respondents to the survey say they've tried listening to music to fall asleep. Twenty percent have even tried counting sheep. I have taken to walking in the evening and reading before bed. I've cut out coffee in the evening and have given up watching the cable news and most TV. It seems to help. The next goal is to get rid of social media.

Untangle your nerves by eliminating what is causing you stress. You can live without Hannity, Morning Joe, and The View, and without checking the cell phone every five seconds. You really can. Too much stress is not good for you and it's keeping you awake at night.

Do not worry about what you cannot control. You'll live longer and sleep better.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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