It's hard to know exactly what course your coronavirus case could take, seeing as some people seem to recover quickly, others develop serious organ damage, and still others have lingering symptoms for weeks or even months on end. Many survivors have reported a myriad of subsequent problems, from breathlessness to hair loss. Now, new accounts are pointing to another seriously concerning condition you could develop, even if you just had a mild COVID case: insomnia. "When I fell asleep or started to fall asleep, it felt like I would stop breathing and my body would kick awake and I'd be gasping for air," Franco, an anonymous 37-year-old COVID survivor, told Today. "It felt like you were drowning… it's terrifying." And Franco is not alone. Read on to find out more about how COVID affects your sleep, and for more signs that you could have battled the virus, check out If You Can't Do This, You May Have Had COVID, New Study Finds.
Half of those recovering from COVID have reported difficulty sleeping as a long-term effect of the virus, according to a survey of more than 1,500 people in the Survivor Corps Facebook Group, a resource for coronavirus survivors that has nearly 113,000 members. But it's not just your typical struggle to close your eyes and get some rest. Patrick Hobart, a 41 year old who had COVID in March, also told Today he still has "anxiety about sleeping," even seven months after he recovered. And neither Franco's nor Patrick's case was severe enough that they needed to be hospitalized for the virus.
Meir Kryger, MD, a sleep researcher and professor at the Yale School of Medicine, told Today that he has seen many patients with various types of "really significant" long-hauler symptoms related to sleep, including insomnia. This sleep disorder can make it hard for people to fall asleep, stay asleep, or sleep for long enough, and has varying degrees of severity.
Kryger says this development of insomnia most likely stems from psychological problems, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He notes that one of his patients even ended up with severe depression after COVID because he had an underlying fear of dying in his sleep from breathlessness. Of course, as is the case with a novel virus like COVID, Kryger says that there is still much to be researched about sleep difficulty in connection with the illness.
But insomnia and other sleep problems are not the only long-term issues that coronavirus survivors may experience. Read on to find out the most common lingering problems people in the Survivor Corps Facebook Group reported, ranked from least common to most common. And for more helpful developments you should be aware of, know that The CDC Now Says You Can Catch COVID From Someone in Exactly This Long.
And for another factor you should monitor when it comes to COVID, be aware that Lacking This Vitamin Is Putting You at Severe COVID Risk, Study Says.
Inability to exercise or be active
And for other signs of the sickness, check out If Your Food Tastes Like These 2 Things, You May Have COVID.
Difficulty concentrating or focusing
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
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Muscles or body aches
And if your sense of smell is off right now, know that If You Can't Smell These 2 Things, You May Have COVID.