Eveningness is distinctively associated with sleep disturbances and depression symptoms due to the misalignment between biological and social clocks. The widespread imposition of remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed a more flexible sleep schedule. This scenario could promote sleep and mental health in evening-type subjects. We investigated the effect of working from home on sleep quality/quantity and insomnia symptoms within the morningness-eveningness continuum, and its indirect repercussions on depressive symptomatology. A total of 610 Italian office workers (mean age +/- standard deviation, 35.47 +/- 10.17 years) and 265 remote workers (40.31 +/- 10.69 years) participated in a web-based survey during the second contagion wave of COVID-19 (28 November-11 December 2020). We evaluated chronotype, sleep quality/duration, insomnia, and depression symptoms through validated questionnaires. Three moderated mediation models were performed on cross-sectional data, testing the mediation effect of sleep variables on the association between morningness-eveningness continuum and depression symptoms, with working modality (office vs. remote working) as moderator of the relationship between chronotype and sleep variables. Remote working was associated with delayed bedtime and get-up time. Working modality moderated the chronotype effect on sleep variables, as eveningness was related to worse sleep disturbances and shorter sleep duration among the office workers only. Working modality also moderated the mediation of sleep variables between chronotype and depression. The above mediation vanished among remote workers. The present study suggests that evening-type people did not show their characteristic vulnerability to sleep problems when working from home. This result could imply a reduction of the proposed sleep-driven predisposition to depression of late chronotypes. A working environment complying with individual circadian preferences might ensure an adequate sleep quantity/quality for the evening-type population, promoting their mental health.

The fall of vulnerability to sleep disturbances in evening chronotypes when working from home and its implications for depression

Salfi, Federico;D'Atri, Aurora;Viselli, Lorenzo;Ferrara, Michele
2022-01-01

Abstract

Eveningness is distinctively associated with sleep disturbances and depression symptoms due to the misalignment between biological and social clocks. The widespread imposition of remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed a more flexible sleep schedule. This scenario could promote sleep and mental health in evening-type subjects. We investigated the effect of working from home on sleep quality/quantity and insomnia symptoms within the morningness-eveningness continuum, and its indirect repercussions on depressive symptomatology. A total of 610 Italian office workers (mean age +/- standard deviation, 35.47 +/- 10.17 years) and 265 remote workers (40.31 +/- 10.69 years) participated in a web-based survey during the second contagion wave of COVID-19 (28 November-11 December 2020). We evaluated chronotype, sleep quality/duration, insomnia, and depression symptoms through validated questionnaires. Three moderated mediation models were performed on cross-sectional data, testing the mediation effect of sleep variables on the association between morningness-eveningness continuum and depression symptoms, with working modality (office vs. remote working) as moderator of the relationship between chronotype and sleep variables. Remote working was associated with delayed bedtime and get-up time. Working modality moderated the chronotype effect on sleep variables, as eveningness was related to worse sleep disturbances and shorter sleep duration among the office workers only. Working modality also moderated the mediation of sleep variables between chronotype and depression. The above mediation vanished among remote workers. The present study suggests that evening-type people did not show their characteristic vulnerability to sleep problems when working from home. This result could imply a reduction of the proposed sleep-driven predisposition to depression of late chronotypes. A working environment complying with individual circadian preferences might ensure an adequate sleep quantity/quality for the evening-type population, promoting their mental health.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/195001
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