Cleveland Clinic researchers found more than 40% of patients with Long COVID (Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 or PASC) had moderate to severe sleep disturbances.

The analysis also showed patients with moderate-to-severe compared with normal-to-mild sleep disturbances had higher body mass indices, were more likely to be Black, and had worse general anxiety disorder. After adjusting for demographics, Black patients were three times more likely to experience moderate-to-severe sleep disturbances. The findings were presented on June 6 at the SLEEP 2022 meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

The team analyzed data collected from 962 patients with PASC in Cleveland Clinic’s reCOVer Clinic between February 2021 and April 2022. The patients were recovered from COVID-19 and completed the sleep disturbance and fatigue questionnaires of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System. More than two-thirds of patients (67.2%) reported at least moderate fatigue, while 21.8% reported severe fatigue. Eight percent of patients reported severe sleep disturbances while 41.3% indicated at least moderate sleep disturbances.

“Sleep difficulties are prevalent and debilitating symptoms reported in people who have long COVID,” said Cinthya Pena Orbea, MD, staff physician in Cleveland Clinic’s Sleep Disorders Center. “So we leveraged data from Cleveland Clinic’s reCOVer Clinic for people with long COVID to further elucidate these associations.”