Bulgaria 2021: Dr. Petar Chipev | Foundation “InSpiro”, Bulgarian Society of Somnology, Bulgarian Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy

Delegate: Dr. Petar Chipev

Affiliation: Foundation “InSpiro”, Bulgarian Society of Somnology, Bulgarian Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy

Short Bio:
Dr. Petar Chipev
– received master degree of medicine 27.12.2012
– pulmonology specialist
– certified expert in sleep medicine – ESRS examination in sleep medicine – 15.04.2015
– ERS HERMES diplomate in Adult Respiratory Medicine – 12.2019
– co-founder of the Bulgarian Society of Somnology – 25.02.2017
– member of the administrative council of the Bulgarian Society of Somnology – since 25.02.2017
– head of the task force “Sleep-related breathing disorders and non-invasive ventilation” of “InSpiro” Foundation – since 01.2017



Activity: There are may be innumerable consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic, but for one of them we still don’t talk enough. One of the consequences from the change in our lifestyle that it brought to us we neglect as always. The night is long and lonesome for those that lost their job, for those quarantined and for the sick. In the chaos, fear and disease some loose, above else – their privilege to sleep. This loss is everything else, but not without logic. Sleep of man changed during the pandemic in terms of quality, quantity and rhythm for many reasons. We now know – COVID-19 is a systemic disease. SARS-CoV-2 makes its way to the brain trough the olfactory bulb, casts its injurious blow there as it does in the other organs of the body and it leaves behind only pain, fear, anxiety and insomnia. The social consequences from COVID-19 locked down billions of people robbing them from their jobs, culture, social contacts, sports and school. After the pandemic the Wolrd Health Organization announced the dangers of the infodemic. The endless hours in front of the monitor of the TV, computer, laptop or smart phone caused panic. Every news for the new disease was received with a new dose of hope, fear, anxiety and insomnia. The day turned into night and the night into day. Sleep was left as always in the background.

In line with this year’s World Sleep Day slogan “Regular sleep, Healthy future” we organized three activities explaining the relationship between immunity, sleep and COVID-19:

  1. Press-conference “How COVID-19 affects sleep and how sleep influence immunity during infection and after vaccination.”

Participants: Dr. Petar Chipev, Dr. Filip Alexiev, Dr. Irina Lazarova, Dr. Hristiana Peliova, Dr. Dimitar Taskov

A press-conference was organized in the Bulgarian Telegraphic Agency. On the conference we presented most if not all of the available scientific data in the medical literature so far regarding the effects of different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic on sleep. The topics that we covered were:

– how COVID-19 itself affects sleep hygiene, subjective sleep quality and sleep-wake cycle of the sick

– how measures to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 affect our sleep and the sleep-wake cycle of the people

– how SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and caring for COVID-19 patients affects sleep of medical workers

– how SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and COVID-19 affect the life of patients with sleep disorders

– how sleep improves immunity and how it helps in the immune response to viruses

– how we can boost immune response after vaccination through good sleep habits

– how SARS-CoV-2 pandemic changed the work in sleep laboratories

– cognitive-behavioral recommendations on how sick people with COVID-19 and quarantined people could improve their sleep

TV, radio and internet media announced the World Sleep Day with quotes from our press-conference.






  1. Review article “The nightmare from Wuhan – how COVID-19 changed our sleep”

Participants: Dr. Petar Chipev, Dr. Filip Alexiev, Dr. Irina Lazarova, Dr. Hristiana Peliova, Dr. Dimitar Taskov

Activity: We wrote a review article summarizing the scientific data on the importance of sleep in immune memory formation, effects of COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and disease itself on different aspects of sleep, use of melatonin in treatment of COVID-19 and recommendations for improving sleep quality, quantity and rhythm during quarantine and illness. The article was uploaded on our website and shared in different medical and public groups on Facebook.


Chapters of the article:

– Relationship between the immune system and sleep

– Immune response to vaccination and sleep

– Effects of COVID-19 on subjective sleep quality

– Effects of measures for limiting SARS-CoV-2 spread on circadian rhythm

– Effects of measures for limiting SARS-CoV-2 spread on subjective sleep quality

– COVID-19 and the health-care workers

– Infodemic “COVID-19”

– COVID-19 pandemic and dreams

– Effects of COVID-19 on polysomnographic parameters

– COVID-19 and sleep disorders

– Recommendations for sleep laboratories during the pandemic

– Role of melatonin for COVID-19 treatment

– Non-pharmacological methods for dealing with consequences on sleep of COVID-19 and restrictive measures – progressive muscle relaxation and CBT-I recommendations


  1. Pamphlets “Cognitive-behavioral recommendations for improving your sleep during and after COVID-19 quarantine”

Participants: Dr. Petar Chipev, Dr. Filip Alexiev, Dr. Irina Lazarova, Dr. Hristiana Peliova, Dr. Dimitar Taskov

Activity: Printed version of CBT-I recommendations in the form of pamphlets were prepared for distribution to COVID-19 patients experiencing sleep disturbances.


In the end, we gave a few national mass media interviews – for the Bulgarian National Radio and for Nova News TV:

Медик: След ваксинация сънят води до по-силен и траен имунитет (ВИДЕО) – Здравеопазване – България – Пулс – NOVA

Д-р Петър Чипев: Сънят има значение за имунния отговор – На фокус (bnr.bg)


Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Date of Activity: 18-19.03.2021

Submitted by: Dr. Petar Chipev