Sleep in adults from the UK during the first few months of the coronavirus outbreak

Madrid-Valero, Juan J.; Bowling, Natalie; Vafeiadou, Aikaterini; Buysse, Daniel J.; Banissy, Michael J. and Gregory, Alice M.. 2022. Sleep in adults from the UK during the first few months of the coronavirus outbreak. Journal of Sleep Research, 31(2), e13465. ISSN 0962-1105 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak emerged at the end of 2019 and quickly spread around the world. Measures to counter COVID-19, including social distancing and lockdowns, created an unusual situation that had the potential to impact a variety of behaviours, including sleep, which is crucial for health and well-being. Data were obtained through an online survey. The total sample comprised 19,482 participants from the UK. Participants were asked several questions regarding sleep quality and quantity. Each participant completed the questionnaires once during a data collection period spanning January 20 to March 31, 2020. Data provided by different participants during different weeks (spanning time-periods just before COVID-19 was identified in the UK and during the early weeks following its arrival) were compared using analysis of variance tests and regressions. Regression analyses controlling for age, sex and ethnicity revealed significant associations of small magnitude between date of survey completion and sleep quality, sleep latency, number of awakenings and composite score of poor sleep quality. These analyses also indicated small increases in eveningness tendency as the study progressed. There was no change in sleep duration or time spent awake at night. The COVID-19 outbreak did not appear to impact negatively sleep in a substantial manner during the early stages in the UK. The small increases in sleep quality variables (except for time spent awake at night and sleep duration) and eveningness are nonetheless of interest. Further research is needed to understand how best to provide support to those most in need of a good night’s sleep during this unprecedented time.

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Funding information:
Wellcome Collection (The Touch Test) to MJB (Principal Investigator) and AMG (Co-Investigator).

Additional Supporting Information may be found online in the Supporting Information section.


chronotype, coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, sleep duration, sleep quality

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28 July 2021Accepted
28 August 2021Published Online
April 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

28 Jul 2021 15:19

Last Modified:

05 Jan 2024 10:06

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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