How Covid-19 Affects Sleep

Updated May 26, 2022

man in a mask

Covid-19 and Insomnia

Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, it has had a negative impact on sleep. The pandemic has greatly improved since then but it still poses a threat. Covid-19 or sars-cov-2 can be an underlying risk factor for insomnia and poor sleep quality in different ways.

Experts are calling this effect Coronasomnia or Covidsomnia. One cause of this is the mental health issues that the last two years brought in. The other is the long-term effects of the virus itself.

Covid’s Toll On Mental Health

One of the biggest impacts of Covid-19 has been stress across all age groups. Some people lost their jobs or are at risk of being unemployed which could keep them up at night. Others may be worried about catching the virus or someone around them catching it.

The constant stress can lead to insomnia. This causes sleep loss from people being unable to fall asleep or stay asleep. According to one survey, the pandemic lockdown led to a rise in the number of people suffering from sleep problems from one in six to one in four.

Another symptom of Coronasomnia has reportedly been more intense dreams. The anxiety of the pandemic has caused more dreams and nightmares because our brains are more active. When people wake up, they still feel exhausted.

Covid-19 Long-term Effects

Most people who were diagnosed with the coronavirus made a full recovery within a few weeks. Unfortunately, some Covid-19 patients who had mild to severe symptoms of the disease have to battle symptoms several months after initial recovery. Some of the long-term Covid symptoms that Mayo Clinic provides are fatigue, breathing difficulty, sleep problems, and several others.

Any kind of pain or discomfort will lead to a loss of sleep. The virus has been known to increase the prevalence of developing post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and worsening anxiety. It is also worth noting that a lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, which will increase the risk of Covid-19 infection.

Combating Coronasomnia

Covid-19

There are multiple ways to help with sleep difficulties. Cleveland Clinic’s Michelle Dreup provides some tips on how to improve your well-being and combat mental health problems.

Unplug From The News

Taking a break from the news can help with anxiety. Dreup also warns against “doomscrolling” especially late at night. Stay informed but do not stress yourself out before bed. Scrolling through news or social media on your phone late at night exposes you to blue light and stressors which can cause sleep disturbances.

Sleep Hygiene

Establish a good daily routine, and stick to a consistent sleep pattern. Dreup says that a short nap can be a good way to recover some energy but she warns against excessive sleep duration while napping. If you are home a lot, make you’re getting enough light exposure, which is important for or circadian rhythm or internal clock.

Sleep Aids

Talk to your sleep doctor about using sleep medicine. Taking melatonin may help you sleep better. Avoid overusing sleep aids to avoid dependence on the medicine.

Protect Yourself From Covid-19

The CDC offers ways to protect yourself from the virus. They recommend social distancing to protect yourself and the people around you. Get tested if you feel any of the symptoms. They also recommend getting the Covid-19 vaccine to prevent severe illness or hospitalization.

Conclusion

Sleep Disorders from the Covid-19 pandemic can be caused in a few different ways. The stress from the pandemic can make it hard to unwind at night. The lasting symptoms of Covid can also cause sleep disruptions.

To help your quality of sleep, unplug from the news or anything that causes you stress when possible. Make do physical activity and maintain a proper sleep schedule. To protect yourself from the virus, for the recommendations from the CDC. Contact your healthcare provider for more help.

About the Author Steven Bieber

Steven Bieber HeadshotSteven is a content writer who recently broke into the mattress industry. In his free time, he enjoys watching football and listening to music.


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