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An international sleep study has found that insomnia, anxiety, and depression were very prevalent during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers are recommending public health interventions to reduce the long-term adverse outcomes associated with chronic insomnia and mental health problems.

An alarm clock showing 3AM next to a sleeping woman who seems unable to sleep

The COVID-19 pandemic brought changes to the way people work, socialise and spend leisure time. It also brought stressors in the form of health concerns, social isolation, financial hardship, home-schooling, and uncertainty about the future. All of this combined has had a major impact on sleep and psychological well-being.

In June 2020, an international group of researchers led by Professor Colin Espie from the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford and Professor Charles Morin, Department of Psychology, Laval University Director set out to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sleep and daily rhythms in adults.

This study documented the prevalence of clinical cases of insomnia, anxiety, and depression and selected risk factors (COVID-19, confinement, financial burden, social isolation) during the first wave of the pandemic from May to August 2020. Over 22,000 adults from 13 countries across four continents completed a web-based survey about their sleep and psychological symptoms.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website

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