In the face of a global pandemic, it almost seems like a state of restlessness is the new normal. However, research confirms that disrupted sleep patterns due to Covid is a very real phenomenon that many are referring to as ‘Covid-somnia’. If this is something you’re struggling with, read on to find out how we could help.
Are my sleep problems due to Covid?
In the latest edition of the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a well- written and solidly researched article looks at insomnia as a common concomitant of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Across the globe, it seems that people who have suddenly found their lives and their world turned upside down have responded by seeing their stress levels escalate to a previously unknown extent. This level of stress, when combined with government-led restrictions and extreme lifestyle changes, has seen fear and anxiety affecting almost unprecedented numbers of people.
It’s no wonder then that, as the recent article suggests , sleep difficulties in many stressed and anxious individuals have been exacerbated.
It is interesting to note that while the total number of confirmed Covid cases in the US by March 1st 2020 was 66 cases, sleep medication prescriptions were in high demand during the same period. By Mid February/March 2020, sleep medication prescriptions in the U.S. had increased by 14.8% compared with the same period in the previous year.
How else could Covid-somnia be affecting my health?
Covid-based fear and anxiety could certainly be described as a type of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD also often features a disturbed sleep component. In a recently published Canadian study, it has been shown that the pandemic has seen seriously disrupted sleep patterns in 51% of people. In related research, researchers found that around 34% of patients experienced at least one neurological or psychiatric symptom in the six months following a positive diagnosis of COVID-19, this being based on the medical records of some 236,000 patients who tested positive and survived.
Researchers also found that incidences of insomnia increased in proportion to the severity of the infection and with hospitalisation. It was only after these factors had been identified that neurologists specialising in sleep disorders coined the term Covid-Somnia. Although this is a fairly new diagnostic label, there is little doubt that Covid related sleep disorders are likely to be part of the medical landscape for some time to come.
How can we help you?
The Journal of Chinese Medicine article explains the rationale of the patho-mechanism of Covid-somnia from the viewpoint of traditional Chinese medicine. This viewpoint, of course, being a dynamic regularly applied at the Acupuncture department of our clinic.
At the Complementary Medicine Centre, we commonly use Acupuncture, Homoeopathy, Hypnotherapy, CBT and other approaches to psychotherapy when dealing with insomnia and other aspects of Long-Covid.
Our Traditional Chinese Medicine department is focalised by Ruth Chappell Fleming, an expert acupuncturist with a background in NHS nursing and Health-Visiting.
If you’re experiencing disrupted sleep patterns, insomnia, restlessness or other sleep issues – we’re here to help.
Contact us here to discuss your options and find out how our treatments can improve your health and quality of life.