- How we sleep and experience psychological symptoms during pandemic

February 11, 2021

During the first confinement (18 March to 10 May 2020), people who reported worse sleep quality during a night also reported an increase in negative mood, psychotic-type like experiences and somatic complaints on the next day. Furthermore, daily reports of deaths caused by Covid-19 predicted psychological symptoms on the same day and sleep quality the following night. This is the result of research carried out in three countries (Belgium, Hungary, Spain) under direction of Peter Simor with researchers at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Rebeca Sifuentes-Ortega, Ariadna Albajara Saenz, Oumaïma Benkirane, Anke Van Roy and Philippe Peigneux from the CRCN (Center for Research in Cognition and Neurosciences) and the UNI (ULB Neurosciences Institute) in collaboration with researchers from the Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

The quality of sleep, according to the researchers, could be related to the COVID-19 pandemic and even influence mental health complaints. To test this hypothesis researchers interviewed 166 participants twice a day (in the morning and in the afternoon) for two consecutive weeks via an online interface about their sleep quality and negative psychological experiences. This method made it possible to measure variables (subjective sleep quality and daytime experiences such as rumination, psychotic-like experiences and somatic complaints) in a "prospective" manner and to establish general trends in individuals.

They were able to study the temporal associations of these variables within individuals, examining whether:

a) a relatively poor night's sleep would be followed by more mental health complaints the next day.

b) whether a relative increase in mental health complaints on a given day would lead to an altered sleep pattern the following night.

The research team also linked the measures (sleep and mental health complaints) to specific factors related to the Covid-19 pandemic: Daily COVID19 deaths reported by the national media were used as indicators of the threatening context of the pandemic. Thereby, they were able to show that daily media reports of the number of deaths related to COVID19 per country predicted mental health complaints that day and impaired sleep quality the following night.

The results show that changes in sleep quality from one night to the next predict how individuals cope with the daily challenges of confinement the next day.
-end-


Université libre de Bruxelles

Related Sleep Articles from Brightsurf:

Size and sleep: New research reveals why little things sleep longer
Using data from humans and other mammals, a team of scientists including researchers from the Santa Fe Institute has developed one of the first quantitative models that explains why sleep times across species and during development decrease as brains get bigger.

Wind turbine noise affects dream sleep and perceived sleep restoration
Wind turbine noise (WTN) influences people's perception of the restorative effects of sleep, and also has a small but significant effect on dream sleep, otherwise known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, a study at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows.

To sleep deeply: The brainstem neurons that regulate non-REM sleep
University of Tsukuba researchers identified neurons that promote non-REM sleep in the brainstem in mice.

Chronic opioid therapy can disrupt sleep, increase risk of sleep disorders
Patients and medical providers should be aware that chronic opioid use can interfere with sleep by reducing sleep efficiency and increasing the risk of sleep-disordered breathing, according to a position statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

'Short sleep' gene prevents memory deficits associated with sleep deprivation
The UCSF scientists who identified the two known human genes that promote 'natural short sleep' -- nightly sleep that lasts just four to six hours but leaves people feeling well-rested -- have now discovered a third, and it's also the first gene that's ever been shown to prevent the memory deficits that normally accompany sleep deprivation.

Short sleep duration and sleep variability blunt weight loss
High sleep variability and short sleep duration are associated with difficulties in losing weight and body fat.

Nurses have an increased risk of sleep disorders and sleep deprivation
According to preliminary results of a new study, there is a high prevalence of insufficient sleep and symptoms of common sleep disorders among medical center nurses.

Common sleep myths compromise good sleep and health
People often say they can get by on five or fewer hours of sleep, that snoring is harmless, and that having a drink helps you to fall asleep.

Sleep tight! Researchers identify the beneficial role of sleep
Why do animals sleep? Why do humans 'waste' a third of their lives sleeping?

Does extra sleep on the weekends repay your sleep debt? No, researchers say
Insufficient sleep and untreated sleep disorders put people at increased risk for metabolic problems, including obesity and diabetes.

Read More: Sleep News and Sleep Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.