New Study: Possible Link Between COVID-19 and Insomnia
2 min read
The link between a mild case of COVID-19 and the onset of sleep problems is more significant than previously understood, a recent study reveals. Researchers have uncovered that individuals who have recovered from a mild form of the virus are highly susceptible to experiencing sleep disturbances, including insomnia. Astonishingly, more than three-quarters of the study's participants reported symptoms of insomnia, indicating a widespread issue among those affected by the virus.
This groundbreaking study, led by Dr. Huong T. X. Hoang from Phenikaa University in Vietnam, was prompted by anecdotal evidence from people recovering from COVID-19 who reported significant sleep issues. Unlike previous research that mainly focused on hospitalized patients, this study aimed to shed light on the sleep quality of individuals with milder cases of the virus who recuperated at home.
Study Highlights on COVID-Induced Insomnia
To conduct this research, the team enlisted over a thousand individuals who had contracted COVID-19 but were not hospitalized. These participants, free from prior insomnia or psychiatric conditions, completed a detailed survey that delved into their sleep patterns post-recovery and assessed any symptoms of anxiety, stress, or depression.
The findings were striking: 76.1% of respondents experienced insomnia, with nearly a quarter of them describing it as severe. Many reported frequent awakenings, difficulty initiating sleep, reduced sleep quality, and shorter sleep durations. Notably, the severity of their COVID-19 symptoms did not directly correlate with their insomnia levels, suggesting other underlying factors at play.
The Role of Anxiety and Depression
The study highlighted two key risk factors for developing insomnia post-COVID: the presence of chronic conditions and the manifestation of anxiety or depressive symptoms. These findings underscore the complex interplay between physical health, mental well-being, and sleep quality.
Need to Improve Sleep Hygiene
Dr. Hoang and her team emphasize the need for a comprehensive approach to address insomnia in post-COVID patients. They suggest simple lifestyle adjustmentsfor those mildly affected, such as establishing a calming pre-sleep routine and limiting caffeine intake. For more severe cases, they recommend seeking professional help.
The high incidence of insomnia reported in this study, compared to both the general population and hospitalized COVID-19 patients, suggests that even mild cases of the virus can have profound effects on sleep. This underscores the importance of considering the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on overall health, including sleep, and the need for holistic care strategies.
Understanding the Research Findings
While the study offers valuable insights, its authors acknowledge limitations, such as the potential for recall and selection biases due to the online survey method. Despite these challenges, the research provides a crucial foundation for understanding and addressing post-COVID insomnia, highlighting the need for further exploration into the connections between COVID-19, mental health, and sleep disturbances.