Sleeping less and feeling "burned out" is associated with an increased risk of being infected with COVID-19 and suffering from complications of the disease, according to a study published last week in the journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health.”We found that lack of sleep at night, severe sleep problems and high level of burnout may be risk factors for COVID-19 in frontline [healthcare workers]. Our results highlight the importance of healthcare professionals’ well-being during the pandemic,” said the researchers.The study found that every hour increase in the amount of sleep the healthcare workers got was associated with a 12% decrease in the risk of COVID-19 infection. Healthcare workers who reported three or more sleep problems were 88% more likely to contract COVID-19. They externally peer reviewed study surveyed healthcare workers repeatedly exposed to patients with COVID-19 with an online questionnaire. The results indicated that workers who reported that they were burned out were more than two times more likely to contract COVID-19 and experienced more severe cases of with a longer duration.“These studies have suggested that burnout may directly or indirectly predict illnesses by occupational stress impairing the immune system and changing cortisol levels,” said the researchers. The researchers emphasized that, because the study is observational, it cannot establish cause. The study's findings held true regardless of the frequency of COVID-19 workplace exposure.