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Short sleep risks long Covid

Short sleep risks long Covid

Adults are advised to sleep for seven to nine hours a day for optimal health, as Chinese University researchers found that those with inadequate rest and late sleeping hours are up to two times more prone to long Covid, depression and heart diseases.
CUHK researchers who have liaised with the International Covid Sleep Study team to poll 17,000 people from 16 countries and regions between May and December 2021, revealed the results today, on World Sleep Day.

Among some 5,900 people who took two doses of mRNA Covid vaccines - including the BioNTech jab - the risks for people who sleep less, to have long Covid symptoms are about two times more than those who are get adequate sleep.

Common symptoms for those who sleep too short or too long include sweating, joint and muscle pain, and shortness of breath.

However, for those who sleep more than nine hours also have the risk by 1.8 times.

"The research showed that by receiving two jabs of Covid vaccines can reduce the risk of having long Covid symptoms, but [the vaccine] is less protective to those who sleep less," said associate professor of the university's department of psychiatry Rachel Chan Ngan-yin.

Long sleep duration can be an indicator of other underlying diseases, for which the body needs extra time to rest, chairman of the department of psychiatry Wing Yun-kwok said.

Wing cited a CUHK study in 2021, that analyzed some 400,000 samples from the UK Biobank database.

The research showed that short sleep of lesser than seven hours has been an independent factor of various cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension and irregular heart rate.

In an earlier research jointly conducted by CUHK and ICOSS between May to August 2020, where some 20,000 people from 14 countries and regions were polled, researchers found that the night owls are more prone to sleep problems, such as daytime sleepiness and difficulty falling asleep.

Among the respondents, 36.7 percent of them have clinical insomnia symptoms and half of them met the criteria for a potential insomnia disorder, while people who probably suffered from anxiety and depression each accounted for about one-fourth of the total.

Wing suggested people should maintain healthy sleep habit, which includes a regular sleep-wake cycle, sleeping at least seven hours every night, and should avoid electronic media or strong light before sleep.

"People thought sleeping is not important, but there are more and more statistics and research showing that sleeping should have priority," he said.

He added that the university alongside the Jockey Club plans to launch a Sleep Well Project this year.

The program will provide cyber therapy to some 10,000 people suffering from insomnia.

World Sleep Day is observed annually before the March Equinox - normally occurs between March 19 and 21, with the theme "sleep is essential for health" aims to promote adequate sleep, which is foundational to physical and mental health.
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