Sleep quality during and after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (COVID‐19) lockdowns in the UK: Results from the SleepQuest study

Jonathan Blackman, Victoria Grace Gabb*, Neil Carrigan, Alfie Wearn, Saba Meky, James Selwood, Bhavisha Desai, Hugh D. Piggins, Nicholas Turner, Rosemary Greenwood, Elizabeth Coulthard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Sleep is fundamental to health. The aim of this study was to analyse and determine factors predicting sleep quality during and after national lockdowns due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (COVID-19) in the UK. A longitudinal online survey-based study (SleepQuest) involving UK adults was administered in Spring 2020, Winter 2020, and Winter 2022 including questionnaires probing sleep quality, depression, anxiety, beliefs about sleep, demographics, COVID-19 status, and exercise. The primary outcome was sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index). A linear mixed-effects model evaluated factors associated with baseline and longitudinal sleep quality. Complete data were provided by 3306 participants in Spring 2020, 2196 participants in Winter 2020, and 1193 in Winter 2022. Participants were mostly female (73.8%), white (97.4%), and aged over 50 years (81.0%). On average, participants reported poor sleep quality in Spring 2020 (mean [SD] Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score = 6.59 [3.6]) and Winter 2020 (mean [SD] Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score = 6.44 [3.6]), with improved but still poor sleep quality in Winter 2022 (mean [SD] Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score = 6.17 [3.5]). Improved sleep quality was driven by better subjective sleep and reduced daytime dysfunction and sleep latency. Being female, older, having caring responsibilities, working nightshifts, and reporting higher levels of depression, anxiety, and unhelpful beliefs about sleep were associated with worse baseline PSQI scores. Better sleep quality was associated with more days exercising per week at baseline. Interventions focusing on improving mental health, exercise, and attitudes towards sleep, particularly in at-risk groups, may improve sleep-related outcomes in future pandemics.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14205
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Early online date23 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Apr 2024

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Journal of Sleep Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Sleep Research Society.


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