Persistence of the Effects of the COVID-19 Lockdown on Sleep: A Longitudinal Study

Maurizio Gorgoni, Serena Scarpelli, Anastasia Mangiaruga, Valentina Alfonsi, Maria R Bonsignore, Francesco Fanfulla, Luigi Ferini-Strambi, Lino Nobili, Giuseppe Plazzi, Luigi De Gennaro, On Behalf Of The Board Of The Italian Association Of Sleep Medicine Aims

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on sleep have been widely documented, but longitudinal evaluations during different phases of the "COVID-19 era" are needed to disentangle the specific consequences of the r145estrictive measures on sleep variables. The aim of this study was to assess the immediate effect of the lockdown's end on sleep and sleep-related dimensions in an Italian sample, also considering the stress and depressive symptoms. We used an online survey to longitudinally collect data on sociodemographic, environmental, clinical, sleep, and sleep-related variables in two time points: during and immediately after the lockdown. The final sample included 102 participants. The large prevalence of poor sleep quality, clinically relevant pre-sleep arousal, and depressive symptoms, as well as poor sleep quality and pre-sleep arousal score observed during the lockdown, remained stable after its end. On the other hand, the prevalence of moderate-to-severe event-related stress and intrusive symptom scores exhibited a drastic reduction after the end of home confinement. Both bedtime and rise time were anticipated after the lockdown, while sleep quality exhibited only a trend of post-lockdown sleep disturbance reduction. Our findings point to a reduced stress level (specific for the intrusive symptomatology) after the end of the lockdown and persistence of sleep problems, suggesting two non-mutually exclusive hypotheses: (a) the strict restrictive measures are not the main cause of sleep problems during the pandemic and (b) home confinement induces long-lasting effects on sleep observable after its end, and a longer period of time might be needed to observe an improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1520
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 17 2021


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