The corona pandemic affected people’s sleep, studies show

Photo: NTB

Studies around the world show that the corona pandemic led to a lot of sleepless nights for many people, but also better sleep for some. Sleep researchers believe the reopening could present challenges.

“Although the incidence of sleep problems increased during the pandemic, there are individual differences. Studies showed that among so-called ‘good sleepers’ before the pandemic, 20% experienced poorer sleep. While among those who had insomnia before, 25% found that they slept better,” postdoctoral fellow Erlend Sunde at the University of Bergen (UiB) told NTB.

In the latest issue of the magazine Søvn, Sunde summarized a selection of studies that examined the connections between the COVID-19 pandemic and sleep.

“An impressive number of research articles have been published during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mostly, they have looked at sleep during periods of social restrictions and lockdown at the start of the pandemic,” Sunde said.

In March 2020, three months after the first cases of COVID-19 were reported, and speculation about the extent of the pandemic began, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic. It developed quickly.

Measures were implemented worldwide. Physical changes in everyday life, fear, worries, and insecurity affected people’s sleep, especially at the beginning of the pandemic.


In the first five months of 2020, when the coronavirus began to spread, there was a 58% increase in Google searches for “insomnia.”

As the death toll began to rise, Google searches for insomnia increased: From March to May 2020, there was a clear link between insomnia searches and the number of COVID-19-related deaths.

Sunde says several studies showed that the length of sleep increased for many people and that their sleep patterns and circadian rhythm have become more stable. 

However, sleep researchers at the University of Bergen say that those who slept better during the pandemic, and those who suffered from sleep disorders, are at risk of struggling with sleep throughout the autumn and winter.

Those who have developed sleep problems can not expect them to go away on their own – unfortunately. It is often the case that sleep problems persist, even after the causes are gone.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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