COVID-19 could have important links to sleep. A new article from The Atlantic details how COVID-19 affects sleep patterns — and how better sleep could lessen the severity of the virus and potentially prevent it.
COVID-19 survivors have reported, among other persistent symptoms, long-term insomnia. While researchers are still investigating how infection could cause ongoing insomnia, a leading hypothesis blames inflammation. Researchers speculate inflammation from COVID-19 may disrupt the nervous system’s communications pathways and, thus, interfere with the body’s ability to fall asleep. Sleep deprivation prevents the body from “cleaning out” the pathways of the nervous system, which would reduce inflammation. This prompts a vicious cycle: inflammation causes insomnia, which worsens inflammation — which causes further insomnia. The result is a protracted affliction with sleeplessness.
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