This Is How Omicron Affects Your Sleep
written by/ February 10, 2022
Omicron has been making headlines all over the world on its way of becoming the most dominant coronavirus variant. And just when we thought that after two years, nothing could surprise us, Omicron turned out to trigger quite unpleasant new sleep symptoms.
The first one was described as a strong need for sleep that those recovering from COVID-19 feel around 4 and 5 pm. According to them, this unusual drowsiness was reported by the majority of around 15,000 studied cases.
Experts on sleep medicine observe that Omicron accelerates the sleep-wake cycle in those that are recovering from it, disrupting the normal 24 hours schedule.
Put simply, instead of being sleepy and drowsy in the evening, the energy levels of patients drop sharply mid-afternoon. What’s more, this symptom has the potential to become a long-haul effect lasting for months after the infection.
Moreover, an article in the BMJ Journals describes two other ways the new variant affects sleep —repetitive movie-like nightmares and extremely light sleep. However, these have not yet been officially adopted as symptoms.
Profuse night sweats are also linked to Omicron as one of the most frequent symptoms, together with severe fatigue, scratchy throat, dry cough, fever, and muscle aches.
As if all this wasn’t disruptive enough to sleep, there’s another phenomenon boosted by the virus—sleep paralysis. Recent data show that sleep paralysis seems to be triggered and worsened in those infected with Omicron.
During sleep paralysis, a person can’t move at all or speak, even though they’re no longer asleep. This loss of movement control is often accompanied by night terrors and hallucinations. Unfortunately, scientists still struggle to find a medicine to prevent or ease this sleep disorder.
Needless to say, such interferences with one’s sleep cycle make it far more difficult for one to maintain proper sleep hygiene and reap all the health benefits of getting enough shuteye.