Many people are reporting sleep difficulties after having COVID-19. This can have a significant impact on recovery and daily living. Common difficulties that are reported include:
Sleep difficulties can be due to a number of reasons. It may be because you have been unwell and your body needs more rest, your normal daily routine has changed, your daily activities have changed, you may be experiencing more pain, and you may be feeling more stressed or anxious than usual.
Experiencing sleep difficulties can make symptoms worse. You may feel more fatigued, less able to cope with your pain, less able to cope with anxiety and stress and struggle to concentrate on things.
Most adults need between 6-9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep is very individual and how much sleep you need is individual for each person. Because sleep is very individual to each person, it might make time to find what works for you. This is likely to be a process of trial and error.
Having a good night’s sleep is important for both physical and mental health. Having a good night’s sleep can increase resilience and enable us to be better able to cope with stress and anxiety, improving overall quality of life. Sleep enables the brain to:
distracting, it may be helpful to have a light snack before. Heavy meals before bed can impact on quality of sleep.
• Try to empty your head of thoughts that may be impacting on your sleep. It can help to have a notepad to right down any thoughts that may be getting in the way. Relaxation and mindful activities may also be useful. Try to go to bed when you feel sleepy.
If you are struggling to sleep it can be helpful to get up after about 20 minutes. Try and do something relaxing such as listen to calming music or read a book. Avoid bright lights, electronics and activities that are stimulating.
Many smart phones have apps that can be helpful when trying to manage sleep difficulties such as: