Long COVID: Sleep problems

During any illness it's common to sleep more as your body fights the infection. While you're recovering, it's also common to have disturbed sleep patterns. You may struggle to get back into a good routine.

Improving your sleeping pattern

There are things you can do to help get back to a better sleeping pattern.

Do

  • have a comfortable bedroom temperature
  • make sure your bedroom is dark – blackout blinds can help
  • take time to relax later in the evening
  • get ready for bed at the same time each night
  • try to get up at roughly the same time every day
  • set aside time during the day to write down any worries you have
  • discuss your worries with family and friends if you feel able
  • keep a 'sleep diary' to help you work out what helps and what doesn't help you get a good night's sleep

Don't

  • avoid caffeinated drinks – like tea and coffee – before bed
  • avoid screens – like phones or laptops – for at least 2 hours before bed
  • try not to snack or eat a large meal late in the evening

If you can’t get to sleep within half an hour of going to bed, get up and relax in another room until you feel tired again.

If you're feeling very tired during the day and are struggling to stay awake, a 30 minute ‘power nap’ can help. It shouldn’t affect your sleep at night as long as it’s not too late in the day.

Relaxation exercises

Breathing and relaxation exercises can help to improve your sleep.

Non-urgent advice: Speak to your GP practice if:

  • your sleep problems are not improving
  • you're worried about your symptoms