COVID-19 Symptoms that Ruin Sleep

Posted by Darian Dozier on Jan 16, 2023 10:01:00 AM

Add a heading-Jul-10-2022-06-00-03-59-PM

COVID-19 unfortunately is far from being over. New strains seem to be arising quite often, and as life tries to get to a new normal, there always seems to be this imminent threat. Aside from the stress that causes, COVID itself causes many problems, particularly at night. 

It's not new information that a connection exists between your immune system and sleep. So if your illness causes you to have trouble sleeping, then that could inherently make your immune system weaker, giving you more trouble fighting the virus and getting better. Here are a few COVID-19 symptoms that ruin sleep, and ways you can help yourself get the rest you need for a good recovery. 


Nightmares are really intense dreams that happen during the rapid eye movement (REM) cycle of your sleep. They differ from night terrors which normally aren't remembered, and can seem so vivid that you don't know you're sleeping until you wake up. Those who have had COVID experience more nightmares compared to those without COVID, according to a recent study

Nightmares can be distressing and make it hard to get good rest, or even feel like you've had good sleep. When you wake up, you may have too much anxiety to go back to sleep, and when you're asleep your dream may feel so intense that you wake up exhausted. 

If you are noticing an uptick in strange dreams while having COVID, you are not alone. It's not clear if there are any remedies for these strange dreams, or even why they occur. However, you may still want to talk with your doctor or therapist if they prove to be overly distressing. 


Coughing is a very key symptom of COVID and can be one of the most annoying. Just when you get into a deep slumber, a coughing fit takes over and disturbs you and anyone within a hearing radius. Coughing is painful as it is disturbing. One way to relieve this is to take a medication that fights a cough, such as Mucinex or any other over-the-counter cough suppressant. Another tip that can help is to change your position so your head is above your heart at an angle that is comfortable for sleep, but also allows you to breathe without coughing. Sleeping with pillows propped up behind you, or adjusting your bed to sleep at an incline may help reduce the burden of cough throughout the night.  

Runny or stuffy nose 

Being unable to breathe through your nose at night is a very frustrating symptom. It can make sleeping an impossible task as you have to rely on mouth breathing, which is an extremely uncomfortable compensation. Plus, the task of constantly waking up to blow your nose can disrupt your sleep even further. 

Taking a decongestant before bed or a nasal spray may help combat this. Also, by putting a box of tissues right by your bed, you can reduce the amount of nighttime walking and sleep disruption. Finally, sleeping with a humidifier may help reduce some inflammation in your nasal passages and loosen up the mucus in your sinuses so you can sleep with a more open breathing passageway. 

Fluctuating Temperature 

Another very frustrating symptom of COVID is the variability of your temperature. When you have a fever, you can quickly flux between burning up and freezing cold. This can make it so hard to get a good night's sleep. Good air control is hard because you may make it too cold, or feel as if it's too hot. 

Sweating out your fever may be one of the more helpful ways you can get past your illness. So, heating yourself up may not be the most conducive for sleep in that moment, but overall, may be best for the course of your illness. If that's not comfortable enough for you, that's completely fine, just make sure to have a cool room and a few blankets on hand so you can quickly cover and uncover as your body temperature fluctuates throughout the night. 

Body Aches

Body aches are extremely uncomfortable and almost unbearable.They seem to come on out of nowhere and the pain can be extremely disruptful. If you have a bed partner, they can absolutely rub the pain away and provide just enough relief for you to both get good sleep. If you don't, or you don't want to disrupt your bed partner, then you can take pain reliever before going to bed and even keep an ice pack or heating pad out and ready for use whenever the pain is too unbearable to sleep. 


Nocturia is the medical term for frequent urination during the nighttime. This is an especially distressing symptom as getting up to use the restroom in the middle of the night is extremely annoying. The whole process of making it to the bathroom while trying to get back to bed quickly enough to fall right back asleep is a lot. Add an illness that can cause fainting, lightheadedness, and other dangerous symptoms with too much movement, and nocturia turns from an annoyance to a hazard. 

It's hard to combat this because it may have nothing to do with the amount of fluids you consume, but just an odd symptom of the virus. Even though you should be consuming a lot of fluids throughout the day, try to minimize them closer to the evening. Then, before going to bed, make sure you have a clear path to the bathroom and even a nightlight or small source of light to help guide you safely to and from the bathroom without largely disrupting your sleep.If you can avoid turning the lights on all the way, that will really help you fall right back asleep. But, please prioritize your safety over sleep latency and make sure you're being safe. 

If the nocturia persists, then it could be an underlying sign of something more serious, like diabetes. Please keep track of your symptoms and inform your doctor of what's going on. 

If you continue to have severe sleeping issues, then please click the orange button below to take a free online sleep test and talk with one of our sleep health professionals. 

Take a Free Online Sleep Test


Topics: COVID19

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