The common-law wife of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman says his health problems have gotten "a lot worse" because guards at a maximum-security prison rouse him for head counts, interfering with his sleep.

Emma Coronel is the mother of Guzman's twin daughters. She told the Radio Formula station that Guzman is having problems with nervousness and anxiety, because he isn't sleeping at the Altiplano prison west of Mexico City.

Authorities have been waking Guzman every few hours for head counts. He embarrassed authorities by escaping the prison in July 2015 and was recaptured in January.

Coronel said she thought authorities were trying to kill Guzman.

Coronel quoted Guzman as saying he wasn't allowed to exercise in open air, but doesn't care and only wants to be allowed to sleep.