Recent studies have revealed that long COVID breathlessness and disturbed sleep may be inextricably linked, with research suggesting the two conditions are intertwined even in those who have recovered from their initial infection.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into how disrupted sleep can exacerbate long-term COVID symptoms and offer tips on how to find relief.
A new study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine analyzed patients in 38 institutions across the UK who were taking part in the PHOSP-COVID study between March 2020 and October 2021. They discovered that 62% of participants admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 had sleep disruptions that were likely to persist for at least 12 months. This is what led researchers to the association between two post-COVID symptoms: sleep disruption and breathlessness.
Sleep quality was assessed through self-reporting in 638 subjects. It was also measured objectively in another 729 patients who wore devices similar to smartwatches that measured night-time activity levels.
It was recorded that, on average, participants who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 slept for over an hour longer, but their sleep patterns were less regular. These participants were also found to be likely to have anxiety and muscle weakness, both of which are post-COVID-19 symptoms.
After looking at statistical analysis, it was found that sleep disruption was likely to drive breathlessness. However, increased anxiety and reduced muscle function could partially mediate the association between sleep disturbance and breathlessness.
Researchers believe the cause of breathlessness is complex since it can arise from conditions that affect the respiratory, neurological, cardiovascular, and mental health systems. These same systems are also affected by sleep disturbances.
Professor Chris Brightling said, “Future research should now assess whether interventions targeting sleep disturbance can improve not only sleep quality but also breathlessness through reducing anxiety and improving muscle strength.”
Researchers hope this study can be used to help bring interventions targeting poor sleep quality to help manage symptoms following COVID-19 hospitalization. Since the pandemic, there has been an increased need for treatment options for those with long-term COVID symptoms to help improve patient outcomes.
The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is essential for maintaining good health, not just in people with long-term COVID symptoms but for everyone. However, many people tend to overlook its importance. Lack of sleep can impact both physical and mental health in numerous ways.
For instance, individuals who do not get sufficient sleep may be at risk of developing obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. Sleep deprivation can also weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to catching illnesses.
Moreover, lack of sleep can cause mood swings, irritability, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating. Clearly, adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being, and it should be prioritized, just like good nutrition and exercise.
Promoting Optimal Sleep
Sleep Sure Plus is designed to help promote optimal sleep and restfulness through a variety of ingredients. One of the most important ingredients included in this unique formula is melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone essential for regulating the circadian rhythm (the internal clock of the body). Sleep Sure Plus also contains valerian, one of the best natural ingredients for promoting rest and relaxation. These two essential ingredients are joined by another 6, which all work together to provide a better quality of sleep.