Read our latest advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19)


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Coronavirus and sleep disorders: frequently asked questions

Information for patients

Frequently asked questions

Please see some answers to common questions we have received during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • Does obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) increase the risk of COVID-19?

    There is no strong evidence that obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) increases the risk for getting or developing complications of coronavirus (COVID-19). One study suggests an increased risk of complications. However, many patients with OSA may also have other long-term health problems that could increase their risk, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. The British Thoracic Society and British Sleep Society both have information on this issue. If you are affected by any other conditions, please check if they are relevant for COVID-19.

    Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)

    CPAP therapy improves long-term cardiovascular outcomes in patients with OSA as well as improving sleep quality and daytime alertness. Continued CPAP therapy would be recommended if you have no symptoms of COVID-19. In the event you develop symptoms there is the potential for CPAP to increase the risk of spread to other people in the area of the CPAP device (ie your close household contacts).

    Short periods off CPAP therapy are unlikely to significantly affect your long-term health if you have previously done the therapy as directed. There may be an increase in daytime sleepiness. We advise against taking part in any potentially dangerous tasks, such as driving if your symptoms return when stopping CPAP.

  • I have been referred to the service but I have not heard anything

    We are likely to have received your referral but are currently not scheduling appointments for any new patients unless it is clinically urgent. You will remain on our waiting list and we will be in touch with you in due course. Some referrals we receive will be returned, and specific advice or signposting to other services will be given to your referring doctor. You will be informed by us in writing if this is the case. 

  • I am worried that I might have coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Please call NHS 111 for advice. 

  • I am on medication prescribed by your team and I am not sure if I should stop taking them

    Please contact the sleep pharmacy team if you have any queries relating to a medication prescribed by us for your sleep disorder.

    Email: gst-tr.thesleeppharmacistgstt@nhs.net

  • I have an appointment soon and I have not heard from you

    We are attempting to contact all patients in advance of their appointment. If you haven’t heard from us and your appointment is less than three days away please contact us.

    Email: gst-tr.sleepnewpatients@nhs.net if your appointment relates to a new appointment

    Email: sleepoutpatientappointments@gstt.nhs.uk if your appointment query relates to a follow up appointment. 

  • I have symptoms that I am worried about

    We are unable to provide routine sleep advice at this time. If you have an urgent symptom that specifically relates to your sleep disorder, your GP can contact us for advice where needed. However, please carefully consider if it is urgent before contacting them. 

  • My medication is running out and I need a prescription

    In most instances we will have asked your GP to continue to provide ongoing prescriptions for you, and in this case you should contact your GP surgery.

    For enquiries related to specific sleep medications prescribed by us at the sleep disorders centre, please note that we need at least 2 weeks' notice to issue prescriptions. 

    Email: gst-tr.thesleeppharmacistgstt@nhs.net

    Tel: 020 7188 8937 (please only use telephone if you are unable to use email)

  • Where can I get further general sleep advice?

    We hope to provide some additional links for our patients to follow in the near future. Please return to this website periodically to check for updates.

    You can find the latest information and advice on COVID-19 and underlying health conditions via the coronavirus NHS page and coronavirus gov.uk page.