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The Mysterious Link Between COVID-19 and Sleep

Arachne

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Throughout the pandemic, the department of neurology at Johns Hopkins University has been flooded with consultation requests for people suffering from insomnia. Rachel Salas, one of the team’s neurologists, says she initially thought this surge in sleep disorders was merely the result of all the anxieties that come with a devastating global crisis: worries about health, the economic impact, and isolation. Indeed, patterns of sleep disruption have played out around the world. Roughly three-quarters of people in the United Kingdom have had a change in their sleep during the pandemic, according to the British Sleep Society, and less than half are getting refreshing sleep. “In the summer, we were calling it ‘COVID-somnia,’” Salas says.

In recent months, however, Salas has watched a more curious pattern emerge. Many people’s sleep continues to be disrupted by predictable pandemic anxieties. But more perplexing symptoms have been arising specifically among people who have recovered from COVID-19. “We’re seeing referrals from doctors because the disease itself affects the nervous system,” she says. After recovering, people report changes in attention, debilitating headaches, brain fog, muscular weakness, and, perhaps most commonly, insomnia. Many don’t seem anxious or preoccupied with pandemic-related concerns—at least not to a degree that could itself explain their newfound inability to sleep. Rather it is sometimes part of what the medical community has begun to refer to as “long COVID,” where symptoms persist indefinitely after the virus has left a person. When it comes to sleep disturbances, Salas worries, “I expect this is just the beginning of long-term effects we’re going to see for years to come.”
 

Stinky

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Practical suggestions:
Waking at same time daily
Early morning walks in sunlight for circadian rhythm
Guarding sleep as if our lives depended on it Purposeful ceremonies before retiring
Melatonin!
 

Luke

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Wow. The lack of sleep sounds a little bit like a Star Trek the Next Generation episode.
 

Ainnir

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^^ I thought that was going to be hyperlinked. :(
 

mcarmichael

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I've used Melatonin, it works if you're already sleepy.
I probably set my alarm more when I use Melatonin than otherwise, I'm not exhausted but I need a coffee when I do.
 

bwallace23350

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My job has not been affected one bit by Covid. We never shut down. My second job is my produce farm. I sleep well because I am tired. I also get plenty of sun light just in my daily living.
 

Asteriktos

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Wow. The lack of sleep sounds a little bit like a Star Trek the Next Generation episode.
Captain's log. Supplemental. The aliens indigenous to this asteroid belt have continued to hold us in their snare. We are all--except for Mr. Data--slowly succumbing to their influence, a phenomenon Dr. Crusher is calling Space Flu, referencing some kind of obscure medical condition once experienced on earth. Unlike ancient versions of the Earth flu, however, there is so far no treatment for our current predicament. We have less than 12 hours now to find a way to treat this and escape.
 

Tzimis

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How can one sleep if the rent is due?
Not that I have that problem but I'm sure many do.
 

mcarmichael

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How can one sleep if the rent is due?
Not that I have that problem but I'm sure many do.
Put the A/C on HIGH.
It's no time to spare expenses when you can't pay the rent. That's why they say bad luck comes in threes. The people who say that, that is.
 

Richmond

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The connection is probably related to stress. Everybody seems to be near a breaking point with something this past year.
 

RaphaCam

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That'ws anythnig but mysterious, after we recover from the COVID-19 pandemics we'll have to deal with a PTSD pandemics, an insomnia pandemics, a depression pandemics, etc.

Personally my sleep now is slightly better than it was before, but I did get to a point of absolute chaos during reclusion, and I had horrible weight swings. I had about 84kg in early March (slightly overweight), lost some weight in the first weeks, then went up to 105kg in July, when I started working out. Then in September I was weighing 102kg, but I lost much more than 3kg of fat because I was perceivably more muscular. Then I stopped working out due to minor surgery, lost the gym munchies and went down to 96kg. That's extremely abnormal and speaks a lot about stress. Now I have to be on meds to stop my body from developping insulin resistance. Thank God it's temporary.
 

Tzimis

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These past few generations have lived very comfortably and something like a severe cold has shaken all that. People of the past are laughing at us.
 

Fr. George

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These past few generations have lived very comfortably and something like a severe cold has shaken all that. People of the past are laughing at us.
Or wagging their heads. At least in 2nd century Rome, they had two solutions: pagans would flee town during an epidemic, and Christians would take care of their neighbors. We do neither - we don't protect neighbors, and we don't care for them.
 

Fr. George

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Re: sleep issues - I'm not sure why they're not surprised. COVID seems to be more of a blood illness than a respiratory one, and attacks multiple systems, including the brain. That it could have lingering neurological effects should be assumed.
 

Tzimis

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Re: sleep issues - I'm not sure why they're not surprised. COVID seems to be more of a blood illness than a respiratory one, and attacks multiple systems, including the brain. That it could have lingering neurological effects should be assumed.
This is true. My nephew who is an MD said most people were dying of sepsis back in march.
 

Tzimis

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Or wagging their heads. At least in 2nd century Rome, they had two solutions: pagans would flee town during an epidemic, and Christians would take care of their neighbors. We do neither - we don't protect neighbors, and we don't care for them.
I don't know if this is entirely true as all the airbnb's are filled up outside of town.
 
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