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Sleep Health Journal Article Adds to Global Perspective on Sleep Health During the Pandemic

Contact: NSF Communications


National Sleep Foundation Sleep Health Journal Article Adds to Global Perspective on Sleep Health During the Pandemic

Washington, D.C. (February 2, 2021): Latest research published in the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) Sleep Health Journal features observations of global sleep health from early in the pandemic.

Sleeping when the world locks down: Correlates of sleep health during the COVID-19 pandemic across 59 countries (Yuksel, McKee, Perrin, Alzueta, Caffarra, Ramos-Usuga, Arango-Lasprilla, & Baker) sought to investigate changes in sleep patterns and correlates of sleep health during the COVID-19 pandemic in a global sample to examine relationships between sleep health and psychological distress. Researchers at SRI’s Human Sleep Research Lab joined with other researchers to survey more than 6,500 individuals in 59 countries between April 19 and May 3, 2020. Study results showed more than half of participants shifted their sleep to later bed-and-wake times, and while some people actually slept longer than usual, possibly due to fewer constraints to their schedule, more than a third reported increased sleep disturbances during the pandemic.

This study showed that specific factors, such as older age, being partnered, and living in a higher-income country, were associated with better sleep health during the quarantine. In contrast, a stricter level of quarantine and pandemic-related factors, including being laid off from a job, financial strain and greater domestic conflict, were associated with poorer sleep health, which in turn was associated with poorer mental health. 

“These data suggest that COVID-19-related factors can impact sleep health on a global level,” said Dilara Yuksel, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow at SRI International. “While these data are correlational, sleep health is strongly related to mental health and could play a protective role against developing mental distress during pandemic-related isolation.”

 “Sleep health can be strengthened by implementing specific habits such as spending more time outside while social distancing, minimizing caffeine intake especially in the afternoon/evening, and maintain relaxing bedtime rituals and regular sleep routines,” said Fiona Baker, Ph.D., director of the Human Sleep Research Program at SRI. “As the disruptions to our daily lives continue due to the pandemic, getting a good night’s sleep is vital to maintain overall wellness and help us cope better with daily stresses.”

The article authors recommend sleep health information be incorporated into public health messaging to help people cope with the effects of the pandemic to maintain optimal mental and physical health. Go to the National Sleep Foundation website,, for resources on positive sleep habits that can help improve overall sleep health.  


About the National Sleep Foundation

National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice.