Mr. Tran Xuan M. visited Hong Ngoc General Hospital 1 month after recovering from COVID-19. He shared, when he was ill, he had only mild symptoms, negative again after 4 days, SpO2 measured was 98%, heart rate was normal. But then he had trouble sleeping, often waking up at 3am. This situation has lasted for more than 1 month, making him extremely tired, headache, unable to concentrate at work. However, Mr. M. still delayed going to the doctor, partly because he subjectively thought the disease would go away on its own, partly because he was afraid that the use of sedatives would cause side effects.
Mr. M.’s case is quite common, can be seen in many patients after recovering from COVID. So, what should Mr. M. and other post-COVID-19 insomnia patients do to stop this situation?
Please refer to the comments below of Mr. BSCK II. Bui Thanh Tien – Hong Ngoc General Hospital.
MSc. BSCK II. Bui Thanh Tien – Hong Ngoc General Hospital
When infected with COVID-19, the body’s immune system produces cytokines, chemokines, and other things that promote inflammation against the virus. If the body’s immune system is not properly controlled, it will damage the patient’s own nerve cells. When the central nervous system is damaged, it will cause sleep disorders, headaches …
Besides, some patients after recovering from COVID may fall into a state of depression due to psychological stress, stress, suffering from the loss of loved ones, unemployment, loss of income, etc. If stress continues for a long time. It will cause harm to the body, leading to anxiety disorders, seriously affecting the patient’s sleep.
So with post-COVID-19 sleep disorder, when do we need sedation?
Mild, moderate form, the patient has difficulty falling asleep, waking up while sleeping, can be self-managed at home. Doctor Tien said, with mild form, the most effective intervention is exercise, early sleep training and physical therapy. In addition, you can also use foods that are good for sleep such as red meat, lotus heart, cloves …
Severe form is complete insomnia, prolonged insomnia, signs of nervous breakdown, then it is imperative to use new drugs under the guidance of a doctor.
“When examining post-COVID-19 patients, I minimize the use of heavy sedatives such as Seduxen, Diazepam… These drugs can make patients feel more tired and lethargic. Using benzodiazepines for longer than 2-3 weeks can cause dependence.
However, many patients before the examination have arbitrarily used drugs and overdosed, leading to confusion, sluggishness, and incorrect movements. But they misunderstand it as a result of COVID-19 without knowing that the real cause is from taking the wrong medicine“, said Doctor Thanh Tien.
Using the wrong sedative, the patient got worse but thought it was because he still had COVID-19
Regarding the method to reduce insomnia after COVID-19, Dr. Tien emphasized:Limit blue light – this is my first recommendation to patients with post-COVID-19 insomnia. When suffering from COVID-19, having to isolate, for many people the greatest joy is using phones and computers. But if exposed to blue light for many hours, especially at night, the brain will be stimulated, switching from excitement to inhibition. Invisible, it is also a reason why patients cannot sleep deeply“.
In addition, Dr. Tien also shared some other methods of improving sleep such as:
– Exercise instead of looking at your phone to fall back to sleep: If you can’t get back to sleep when you have insomnia, instead of trying to lie in bed to look at your phone, get up and do gentle exercise. Exercise will help the body relax, blood circulation, improve sleep quality.
Exercise is one of the effective methods to improve insomnia
– Establish a habit of going to bed early and on time, do not make up for it at noon: Instead of sleeping when you feel sleepy, practice the habit of sleeping at a fixed time and not staying up late. Also, don’t nap too much to make up for the night’s sleep. This easily aggravates insomnia.
– Supplementing with red meat, using honey, lotus heart… and minimizing stimulants: Foods containing iron (red meat) and foods that stimulate the pancreas to secrete insulin such as honey, lotus heart… will help the patient fall asleep more easily.
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