Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

An international group of researchers led by Professor Colin Espie from the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford is investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sleep and daily rhythms in adults.

An elderly man suffers from insomnia, trying to sleep. Backlight image in blue tones.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, difficulty getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep and vivid dreaming have been widely reported across the general population. Some people may already have had sleep problems, and these seem to have got worse. Other people who were good sleepers before seem to have developed insomnia.

Sleep is at the heart of physical and mental health. It is essential for tissue repair, cell regeneration, immune functioning, memory functioning and consolation, and for the regulation of daytime emotion. When people are sleep deprived or develop a persistent sleep disorder, the consequences include loss of energy, sleepiness, impaired concentration and memory, and disturbed mood. Inadequate sleep has been associated with increased risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes, and risk of developing anxiety or depression.

This study will look at changes in sleep quality in relation to social confinement such as a national lockdown or self-isolation, risk of exposure to the virus, and psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. Researchers aim to understand how sleep problems have emerged, and to investigate how sleep during COVID-19 has interacted with lifestyle, health and wellbeing.

Read more on the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences website

This story is also featured on the University of Oxford website

Similar stories

Oxford vaccine reaches one billion doses released

The University of Oxford’s and our partners AstraZeneca have today announced that one billion doses of the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 coronavirus vaccine have been released, to more than 170 countries, marking a key milestone as part of the University and AstraZeneca’s joint vision to make the available to the world, on a not-for-profit basis for the world during the pandemic, and in perpetuity for low- and middle-income countries.

Research programme tackling COVID-19 variants of concern receives funding boost

A gift from the Red Avenue Foundation will enable the expansion of a major research programme aimed at rapidly identifying and interrogating emerging COVID-19 variants.

Phase I trial begins of new vaccine against the Plague

Researchers at the University of Oxford today launched a Phase 1 trial to test a new vaccine against plague.

New therapeutic targets identified in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis

Researchers identify two inflammatory-driving proteins, osteopontin and CCL2, highly expressed in psoriatic arthritis joints.

Treatment choice for rotator cuff disorders could create efficiency and savings for the NHS

A trial that evaluated the clinical and cost effectiveness of physiotherapy treatments for rotator cuff disorders suggests cost savings can be made while maintaining positive patient outcomes.