South Africa: Putting Covid-Related Sleeplessness to Bed


COVID can have a direct and indirect impact on a person's quality of sleep, resulting in sleep difficulties and insomnia (1,2). A recent study has shown that even six months after first symptom onset COVID can still impact sleep quality in three quarters of patients (3). Poor sleep quality not only negatively impacts quality of life (1), it also increases a person's risk for viral infections and reduces the efficacy of vaccinations (2). Managing poor sleep quality to ensure a restful night's sleep is therefore important.

COVID-19 and lock-down brought with it amongst others social isolation, home-schooling, job insecurity, financial stressors, sickness and loss of loved ones, all of which led to increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sleep difficulties. 4,5

Although lock-down measures have been necessary to reduce the spread of the virus, they have had a high psychological cost on populations around the world. 1 An online survey in Italy reported that 57 % of participants experienced poor sleep quality, 42 % high stress, 32 % high anxiety and 8 % symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the initial lock-down period.1 In fact, a review of 55 studies conducted since the start...

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