Sleep and circadian health 6 months after critical COVID-19 disease

Adriano Targa

Adriano Targa

Postdoctoral Researcher, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES), Biomedical Research Institute of Lleida, Spain

Adriano Targa and colleagues recently published a paper looking at sleep and circadian health entitled “Sleep and circadian health 6 months after critical COVID-19 disease”. Dr. Kate Porcheret from the ESRS’s Digital & Communications Committee sat with him to discuss their work further.

The study looked at the sleep and circadian patterns of 145 hospital patients who became critically ill from contracting the COVID-19 virus and ended up in the ICU. Its main objective was to perform a descriptive analysis during the three and six months follow up (post-ICU discharge) to fill the literature gap in this type of study, especially considering validated questionnaires and objective tools to evaluate the sleep and circadian health.

It was observed that at the six month follow up, almost half the population presented poor sleep quality according to the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) which was confirmed by objective analysis. Other observations included a high fragmentation of the rest-activity rhythm among the population. A slight improvement in sleep quality but no difference in terms of the rest activity rhythm was also evident when comparing the 2 follow-up visits.

He also noted that while there might be some causality stemming from the detrimental effects of the ICU environment on sleep and circadian effects, their study was not designed with this in mind. Regardless, this should not exclude causality from the disease itself due to its close relationship between the immune system, sleep and circadian health.

For even further insights on the results of other analyses to predict sleep and circadian health, and the correlation among different outcomes of COVID-19 at the 6-month follow up, watch the entire interview below and read the entire publication here.

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