Long-Covid sufferers in Suffolk are finding it harder to sleep and exercise, according to latest research conducted by a mental health charity.

Suffolk Mind discovered that people who are still experiencing the effects of the virus are struggling to meet their physical and emotional needs, including security, movement and sleep.

Asked to score how well they were meeting their emotional needs, from 3 to -3 (with 1 being considered “met”), people with long Covid were found to be meeting just three of their 12 needs on average.

The three areas considered “met” were the needs to give attention, for close relationship and emotional connection.

Other areas not being considered “met” by those with long-Covid include the needs for meaning and purpose, control and to receive attention.

Common long-Covid symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath and insomnia, according to the NHS.

Jon Neal, Suffolk Mind CEO, said: “This data shows just how much of an impact long-Covid is having on the lives of people here in Suffolk and beyond.

“Missing out on one or two of our physical and emotional needs can see people begin to experience stress, low mood and poor sleep – however, these can quickly spiral into mental ill health should they not be addressed.

“Long-Covid is an area which requires much more research by the medical and mental health sectors to help us better understand the disease and how we can better help those affected.”

He added that sleep deprivation was a particular concern due to its importance for physical health and recovery and mental wellbeing.

Mr Neal added: “It is important to note we are still experiencing high levels of mental ill health among all areas of the population after these difficult past two years.

“Around one in six people experienced depression in the last year, almost double the pre-pandemic figure of one in 10.

“With the cost-of-living crisis and other events unfolding around the world, it is more important than ever to ensure our emotional needs are met, and to extend a hand to those who are struggling.”