Sleep disturbances common among COVID long-haulers, data shows

Sleep Disturbances Common Among COVID Long-Haulers, Data Shows

Sleep disturbances among COVID-19 long-haulers appear to be quite common according to data from Cleveland Clinic.

“A lot of patients are complaining of non-restorative sleep, fatigue, brain fog, restless sleep, and insomnia. These are the most common complaints that we see in the clinic every day,” said Cinthya Pena, MD, sleep specialist for Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Pena said they studied data from more than 960 people between February of 2021 and April of this year. They found about 41% reported at least moderate sleep disturbances and 8% had severe sleep disturbances. Roughly 67% also reported at least moderate fatigue, while nearly 22% had severe fatigue. In addition, they learned that black race was associated with moderate to severe sleep disturbances.

Dr. Pena said researchers are still trying to understand the underlying mechanism of sleep disturbances among COVID-19 long-haulers. “This raises the question of trying to understand a mechanistic pathway behind this process to develop targeted specific interventions to different groups of patient populations,” she said.

Dr. Pena said while treatment options are available for sleep-related issues, it is uncertain how long it could take for someone to get better. She advises those with concerns to consult with their physician.

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