Trending Clinical Topic: Coronasomnia

Trending Clinical Topic: Coronasomnia

Trending Clinical Topic: Coronasomnia

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Ryan Syrek

February 05, 2021

Each week, we identify one top search term, speculate about what caused its popularity, and provide an infographic on a related condition. If you have thoughts about what’s trending and why, share them with us on Twitter or Facebook. Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

COVID-19’s widespread impact on sleep has been given the name “coronasomnia.” With the scope of the problem and its serious consequences now coming to light, the term became this week’s top trending clinical topic. A recent cross-sectional survey found a significant increase in sleep disruption (see Infographic). Researchers behind the report that was published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine say the findings highlight the need to increase screening for poor sleep and to monitor patients for psychological and physical problems that may result. A similar study of 843 adults in the United Kingdom found that nearly 70% of those who responded reported a change in sleep patterns, with less than half reporting refreshing sleep.

The consequences of poor sleep are well known and quite serious. Not only can inadequate rest lead to worsened immune systems and mental health concerns, a recent study found that short sleep duration is associated with a significantly increased risk for cognitive impairment (CI). Data showed that individuals who objectively slept less than 6 hours per night had a twofold increased risk for mild CI. Poor sleep and chronic insomnia were not associated with CI or possible vascular CI; however, objective short sleep was associated with both.

Recognizing the effects of coronasomnia in children can be particularly challenging. Daytime sleepiness in elementary school–aged children should be considered a red flag. Experts say that sleep disruption in younger patients may be due to changes in school schedules and anxiety over the pandemic. Reassurance is often the key for helping children with the latter.

Coronasomnia has also resulted in increased use of pharmacologic sleep aids. A survey of 5525 Canadians found that 27% reported the use of such aids during the pandemic. Experts are quick to point out that relaxation techniques and cognitive-behavioral therapy are more beneficial than medications, which are often associated with substantial side effects. Tips to help patients combat coronasomnia often involve assessing and correcting poor sleep hygiene. This includes developing a healthy routine and avoiding accidental stimulation.

Most recommendations say to use hypnotic agents only as a last resort. Limiting exposure to stressful COVID-related news, reducing consumption of alcohol and stimulants, avoiding use of electronic devices in bed or near bedtime, and diet and exercise are all more strongly encouraged. One of the drug categories sometimes used to treat insomnia, benzodiazepines, has recently been the focus of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance. The FDA has stated that “The current prescribing information for benzodiazepines does not provide adequate warnings about these serious risks and harms associated with these medicines so they may be prescribed and used inappropriately.”

The range of factors that contribute to coronasomnia is vast. Changes to home and work environments, increasing isolation, anxiety about job and financial security, and fear about getting COVID itself have all combined to create an environment less conducive to quality sleep. Considering that many of those stressors show no sign of abating, use of the term “coronasomnia” is likely to become even more common.



Read more about insomnia treatments.

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Any views expressed above are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of WebMD or Medscape.

Cite this: Ryan Syrek. Trending Clinical Topic: Coronasomnia – Medscape – Feb 05, 2021.

Senior Editor, Medical Students, Medscape Drugs & Diseases

Disclosure: Ryan Syrek has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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Trending Clinical Topic: Coronasomnia

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Fast Five Quiz: Sleep Disorders

Fast Five Quiz: Sleep Disorders

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Helmi L. Lutsep, MD; Zab Mosenifar, MD; Stephen Soreff, MD

August 03, 2020

Difficulty with sleep is common, with some studies showing as many as 1 in 3 individuals report some type of sleep disorder. Reduced sleep duration has been linked to almost half of the 15 leading causes of death in the United States. From poor performance at work and school to detrimental impacts on mental and physical health, sleep disorders significantly reduce quality of life for many.

The five most common sleep disorders are insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder, and narcolepsy. Are you familiar with practice essentials related to these conditions, including recommended approaches to diagnosis and treatment? Make sure you are prepared to help your patients get a good night’s sleep with this short quiz.

Medscape © 2020 WebMD, LLC

Any views expressed above are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of WebMD or Medscape.

Cite this: Helmi L. Lutsep, Zab Mosenifar, Stephen Soreff. Fast Five Quiz: Sleep Disorders – Medscape – Aug 03, 2020.

Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Neurology, Oregon Health & Science University; Chief of Neurology, VA Portland Health Care System, Portland, Oregon

Disclosure: Helmi L. Lutsep, MD, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:
Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant, or trustee for: Stroke adjudication committee for CREST 2 trial and executive committee for DEFUSE 3 trial (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
Serve(d) on Physician Advisory Board for: Coherex Medical

Director, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine; Director, Women’s Guild Pulmonary Disease Institute; Professor and Executive Vice Chair, Department of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California

Disclosure: Zab Mosenifar, MD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

President of Education Initiatives, Nottingham, New Hampshire; Faculty, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; Faculty, Daniel Webster College, Nashua, New Hampshire

Disclosure: Stephen Soreff, MD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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Sleep Apnea Health Center

Sleep Apnea Health Center

How dangerous is it?

Check your risk and get treatment facts.

What do they say about you?

Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing is disrupted during sleep. Men, overweight people, and people over 40 are at greater risk for sleep apnea. Untreated sleep apnea can cause hypertension, stroke, or heart failure.

Easing Sleep Apnea May Be Key to Stroke Recovery

The investigators found that, among stroke patients, “treatment of sleep apnea with CPAP therapy provides significant benefits, even greater than the benefits of tPA, the FDA-approved drug treatment for stroke,” said study lead researcher Dr. Dawn Bravata.

Read Full Article

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain — and the rest of the body — may not get enough oxygen.

There are two types of sleep apnea:

Know your myths from your facts.

What do they say about you?

You may need a sleep study.

Which type do you have?

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Sleep Apnea Health Center

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