Covid 19 Pandemic and Sleep

No one could have predicted the worldwide consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, or that two years later we would still be beset with the condition and its evolving variants. It is therefore no surprise that the sleep patterns may have changed, and difficulties with sleep may have surfaced by now for everyone. Recent surveys among randomly contacted American households suggest there are at least a few ways that sleep has been affected by the epidemic.

Interestingly, many households have been affected in sleep duration with average sleep time increasing by 25 minutes, and being delayed starting later in the night, ending later in the morning. Dream activity in the form of REM sleep has increased, with more vivid dreams relating to Covid.

Startling new research from Canada has revealed that those with moderate to severe obstructive apnea have a significantly greater chance of contracting Covid-19, and are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized and require a stay in the intensive care unit. Those who experience the worst respiratory symptoms and require oxygen therapy for severe Covid pneumonia are inclined to require that oxygen for much longer in recovery at home. There are anecdotal accounts of the incidence of insomnia being raised significantly by the social, psychologic, and vocational aftermath of Covid-19 occurrence in both adults and children.



Chung, F. et al. The association between high risk of sleep apnea, 

    comorbidities, and risk of Covid-19, Sleep and Breathing 2021;

       25: 849-60

Walker, M.  Ted Talk, 12-22-2021