Benedict C, Brandão LEM, Merikanto I, Partinen M, Bjorvatn B, Cedernaes J
Clocks Sleep 3 (2) 251-258 [2021-04-22; online 2021-04-22]
The COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions, such as stay-at-home-orders, have significantly altered daily routines and lifestyles. Given their importance for metabolic health, we herein compared sleep and meal timing parameters during vs. before the COVID-19 pandemic based on subjective recall, in an anonymous Swedish survey. Among 191 adults (mean age: 47 years; 77.5% females), we show that social jetlag, i.e., the mismatch in sleep midpoint between work and free days, was reduced by about 17 min during the pandemic compared with the pre-pandemic state ( p < 0.001). Concomitantly, respondents' sleep midpoint was shifted toward morning hours during workdays (p < 0.001). A later daily eating midpoint accompanied the shift in sleep timing (p = 0.001). This effect was mainly driven by a later scheduled first meal (p < 0.001). No difference in the timing of the day's last meal was found (p = 0.814). Although our survey was limited in terms of sample size and by being cross-sectional, our results suggest that the delay in sleep timing due to the COVID-19 pandemic was accompanied by a corresponding shift in the timing of early but not late meals.