Study Objectives: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown, there was a worldwide increase in electronic devices' daily usage. Prolonged exposure to backlit screens before sleep influences the circadian system leading to negative consequences on sleep health. We investigated the relationship between changes in evening screen exposure and the time course of sleep disturbances during the home confinement period due to COVID-19. Methods: 2,123 Italians (mean age ± standard deviation, 33.1 ± 11.6) were tested longitudinally during the third and the seventh week of lockdown. The web-based survey evaluated sleep quality and insomnia symptoms through the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Insomnia Severity Index. The second assessment survey inquired about intervening changes in backlit screen exposure in the two hours before falling asleep. Results: Participants who increased electronic device usage showed decreased sleep quality, exacerbated insomnia symptoms, reduced sleep duration, prolonged sleep onset latency, and delayed bedtime and rising time. In this subgroup, the prevalence of poor sleepers and individuals reporting moderate/severe insomnia symptoms increased. Conversely, respondents reporting decreased screen exposure exhibited improved sleep quality and insomnia symptoms. In this subgroup, the prevalence of poor sleepers and moderate/severe insomniacs decreased. Respondents preserving screen time habits did not show variations of the sleep parameters. Conclusions: Our investigation demonstrated a strong relationship between modifications of evening electronic device usage and time course of sleep disturbances during the lockdown period. Monitoring the potential impact of excessive evening exposure to backlit screens on sleep health is recommendable during the current period of restraining measures due to COVID-19.

Changes of evening exposure to electronic devices during the COVID-19 lockdown affect the time course of sleep disturbances

Salfi F.;Amicucci G.;Corigliano D.;D'Atri A.;Viselli L.;Tempesta D.;Ferrara M.
2021

Abstract

Study Objectives: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown, there was a worldwide increase in electronic devices' daily usage. Prolonged exposure to backlit screens before sleep influences the circadian system leading to negative consequences on sleep health. We investigated the relationship between changes in evening screen exposure and the time course of sleep disturbances during the home confinement period due to COVID-19. Methods: 2,123 Italians (mean age ± standard deviation, 33.1 ± 11.6) were tested longitudinally during the third and the seventh week of lockdown. The web-based survey evaluated sleep quality and insomnia symptoms through the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Insomnia Severity Index. The second assessment survey inquired about intervening changes in backlit screen exposure in the two hours before falling asleep. Results: Participants who increased electronic device usage showed decreased sleep quality, exacerbated insomnia symptoms, reduced sleep duration, prolonged sleep onset latency, and delayed bedtime and rising time. In this subgroup, the prevalence of poor sleepers and individuals reporting moderate/severe insomnia symptoms increased. Conversely, respondents reporting decreased screen exposure exhibited improved sleep quality and insomnia symptoms. In this subgroup, the prevalence of poor sleepers and moderate/severe insomniacs decreased. Respondents preserving screen time habits did not show variations of the sleep parameters. Conclusions: Our investigation demonstrated a strong relationship between modifications of evening electronic device usage and time course of sleep disturbances during the lockdown period. Monitoring the potential impact of excessive evening exposure to backlit screens on sleep health is recommendable during the current period of restraining measures due to COVID-19.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/183492
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