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New Study: Mild COVID-19 May Cause Insomnia

For many of us, the anxiety, fear, and symptoms associated with the COVID-19 pandemic caused sleepless nights. Although we’re past the traumatic, stressful, locked-down days of a few years ago, COVID may still be causing a lack of quality sleep for some.  A newly released study1 shows that even mild cases of COVID-19 may cause insomnia or other sleep disturbances in some people — well after they are symptom-free. 



The Vitamanese cross-sectional study surveyed over 1,000 COVID-19 survivors within six months of their initial diagnosis with questions regarding their sleep habits. Those who were sent the online survey had “mild COVID” that did not require hospitalization.1 

What Does the

Research Say?

Using the Vietnamese version of the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) for measurement, more than 76 percent of study participants reported that they experienced insomnia, and almost 23 percent stated that they experienced severe insomnia. The study also found that those with pre-existing chronic conditions, depression, or anxiety had a higher likelihood of insomnia. Participants with diagnosed insomnia or other psychiatric disorders prior to getting COVID-19 were excluded from the study.1  

Previous information from the Centers for Disease Control2 (CDC) stated that those with severe or Long COVID could experience sleep disturbances and other symptoms. However, this new study found that even those who had mild COVID cases could have long-term bouts of insomnia.1 

Of the 1,059 respondents, more than two-thirds reported symptoms of insomnia. However, only one-third stated that their ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and their sleep quality had worsened after having COVID-19. More than half reported that they woke up more after their COVID-19 infection. The study also determined that those infected with COVID-19 were also at an increased risk for developing mental health problems from the infection and isolation, which could contribute to sleep disturbances.1

Although those who have had COVID may experience long-lasting symptoms of the disease that may impact their sleep, Dr. Huong T. X. Hoang, who led the study, emphasized that you shouldn’t assume post-COVID insomnia is normal3

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, there are ways to combat your sleeplessness.

Learn More: Best Mattress for Insomnia

Tips for

Improving Your Sleep

Whether or not you’re insomnia is linked to COVID-19, there are plenty of ways to boost your sleep hygiene for better sleep, many of which you can implement into your daily routine.

  • Consistent sleep schedule – Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on the weekends, could help you sleep easier. This is because it trains your body to feel tired and alert at the same time each day. 
  • Relaxing evening activities – Taking a warm shower, reading a book, using a sauna, and other calming activities could help you relax in order to fall asleep.
  • Limit exposure to electronics – The blue light from electronic devices like smartphones and computers hinders melatonin production4, and melatonin is an important hormone for sleep. Therefore, cut off your screen time ideally an hour before bed.
  • Sleep and sex – Only use your bed for sleep and sex. This is so that you avoid doing any kind of work in bed, which might trigger stressful feelings.
  • Avoid caffeine – Don’t drink coffee and other caffeinated beverages in the afternoon or evening.
  • Limit alcohol – Although it may help you fall asleep initially, research shows alcohol can disrupt your sleep5 later on in the night. Therefore, avoid alcohol an hour before bed, and don’t overindulge at any time. 
  • Calming sleep environment – A cool, dark, and quiet room is more conducive for sleeping.
  • Quality mattress – Investing in a good mattress that meets your needs for comfort and support can help you rest more comfortably. 
  • Exercise dailyExercise daily for better sleep. In fact, research supports this, finding that regular exercise can boost sleep quality6.
  • Reduce fluid intake – Limit fluid intake before bed to avoid middle-of-the-night bathroom trips.
  • Sleep aids – After consulting with your doctor, you may find that sleep aids, such as melatonin or magnesium may help you sleep better. However, these should only be considered short-term solutions. Explore our picks for the Best Melatonin Supplements and Best Magnesium Supplements.
  • Sleep specialists – If your insomnia persists, schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist. They may recommend cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, which has become a popular treatment for chronic insomnia.

Learn more: COVID-19 and Sleep

Sosha Lewis

Sosha Lewis

Content Writer

About Author

Sosha Lewis is a staff writer for Sleep Advisor.  Lewis is happy that she is able to combine her love of sleep with her love of writing.

Combination Sleeper


  1. Hoang, Huong T.X., et al, “Sleep quality among non-hospitalized COVID-19 survivors: a national cross-sectional study”. Frontiers in Public Health. 2024.
  2. “Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions”. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last modified July 20, 2023.
  3. “Mild Covid-19 infections make insomnia more likely, especially in people with anxiety or depression”. Eureka Alert. 2024.
  4. Silvani, Marcia Ines., Werder, Robert., Perret, Claudio. “The influence of blue light on sleep, performance and wellbeing in young adults: A systematic review”. Frontiers in Physiology. 2022.
  5. Colrain, Ian M., Nicholas, Christian L., Baker, Fiona C. “Alcohol and the Sleeping Brain”. National Library of Medicine. 2014.
  6. Alnawwar, Majd A., et al. “The Effect of Physical Activity on Sleep Quality and Sleep Disorder: A Systematic Review”. Cureus. 2023.