J Sleep Res - (-) e13432 [2021-07-09; online 2021-07-09]
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) changed lifestyles worldwide and subsequently induced individuals' sleep problems. Sleep problems have been demonstrated by scattered evidence among the current literature on COVID-19; however, little is known regarding the synthesised prevalence of sleep problems (i.e. insomnia symptoms and poor sleep quality) for males and females separately. The present systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to answer the important question regarding prevalence of sleep problems during the COVID-19 outbreak period between genders. Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guideline and Newcastle-Ottawa Scale checklist, relevant studies with satisfactory methodological quality searched for in five academic databases (Scopus, PubMed Central, ProQuest, Web of Science , and EMBASE) were included and analysed. The protocol of the project was registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO; identification code CRD42020181644). A total of 54 papers (N = 67,722) in the female subgroup and 45 papers (N = 45,718) in the male subgroup were pooled in the meta-analysis. The corrected pooled estimated prevalence of sleep problems was 24% (95% confidence interval [CI] 19%-29%) for female participants and 27% (95% CI 24%-30%) for male participants. Although in both gender subgroups, patients with COVID-19, health professionals and general population showed the highest prevalence of sleep problems, it did not reach statistical significance. Based on multivariable meta-regression, both gender groups had higher prevalence of sleep problems during the lockdown period. Therefore, healthcare providers should pay attention to the sleep problems and take appropriate preventive action.