Why is it difficult to sleep after Covid-19? – VnExpress

I had a mild case of Covid-19 and recovered for more than a month. I haven’t slept for a week, slept 2-3 hours and woke up, very tired, headache, cough a lot. Why and how to improve? (Nguyen Huong, 45 years old, HCMC)


Covid-19 is a systemic infection. After recovering from the disease, the toxin of the virus remains in many organs and body parts such as lungs, liver, muscles, kidneys, joints, skin, nerves… symptoms, occurring at 2-4 weeks after recovery.

A patient often suffers from many sequelae at the same time, commonly fatigue, chest pain, prolonged cough, shortness of breath accompanied by stress and anxiety. The fear of illness makes the patient easy to lose sleep, difficult to fall asleep at first, or wake up suddenly, difficult to maintain sleep… collectively known as sleep disorder.

The Omicron strain is circulating widely in Ho Chi Minh City, characterized by cough, fever, sore throat, prolonged headache, reduced physical strength, shortness of breath, causing stress and sleep disorders after Covid-19 more. On average, about 20-25% (about 40-50 people) of the total number of patients who come to the post-Covid-19 examination at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City report insomnia. In which, many people said that they had lost sleep for a whole week, more women than men.

Long-term sleep disorders without intervention, treatment easily cause patients to have more health problems, physically and mentally exhausted. They have no energy to work, people are always tired, stomachaches, palpitations. Even people who have had anxiety disorders, insomnia before may have depression, negative thoughts that harm themselves.

Therefore, adults often sleep less than 6 hours a day, lie awake for a few hours to fall asleep, fall asleep or wake up in the middle, wake up to find their body is not refreshed, lose energy, need to go to a medical facility Medical examination, find the cause, the degree of sleep disturbance to have the appropriate treatment plan.

In case of mild insomnia, doctors will treat it with drugs, along with other accompanying post-Covid-19 sequelae. In the case of patients with acute insomnia (less than 3 months) there is a high possibility of complete recovery. Particularly, the group of patients before Covid-19 had chronic insomnia, Covid-19 made the disease worse, the ability to recover was lower.

In addition to medication, patients are also guided to practice diet, rest, exercise science and moderation. In particular, you should avoid self-using and abusing benzodiazepines (such as seduxen) because they have many side effects, are addictive, and make the treatment of sleep disorders more difficult.

Doctor Hoang Dinh Huu Hanh
In charge of the Sleep Disorders Unit, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City


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