COVID-19 pandemic is associated with increased sleep disturbances and mental health symptoms but not help-seeking: a cross-sectional nation-wide study.

Moreno CRC, Conway SG, Assis M, Genta PR, Pachito DV, Tavares A, Sguillar DA, Moreira G, Drager LF, Bacelar A

Sleep Sci 15 (1) 1-7 [2022-06-07; online 2022-06-07]

This study aimed firstly to describe sleep-related and mental health symptoms before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in a national-wide sample and, secondly, to verify attitudes towards help-seeking to treat these symptoms. Data were collected through an online questionnaire sent through the Brazilian Sleep Association's social media. The questionnaire included sociodemographic and sleep aspects questions currently and before the pandemic period. In addition, the survey addressed current and previous anxiety, depression, and burnout symptoms. The outcome help-seeking was addressed in the questionnaire as well by a single question asked when the participant reported mental or sleep problems. The study covered 6,360 participants, mean age 43.5 years (SD=14.3), 76.7% female and 63.7% with undergraduate or higher degree filled out the survey. Seventy percent of participants reported sleep disturbances and 80% reported symptoms of anxiety during the pandemic. Help-seeking behavior was found only in one third of them. Hours of sleep reduced from 7.12 to 6.2h, which can be related with the increase in 28.2% of dissatisfaction with sleep duration during the pandemic. The highest frequency of complaints related to sleep was difficulty to fall asleep three or more times a week (going from 27.6% before the pandemic to 58.9% during the pandemic; p<0.001). Moreover, it was observed that help-seeking was more prevalent in men than women, and more in younger participants than in older ones. There was an increase of sleep and mental self-reported problems during the pandemic, which was not followed by help-seeking.

Category: Health

Type: Journal article

PubMed 35662970

DOI 10.5935/1984-0063.20220027

Crossref 10.5935/1984-0063.20220027

pmc: PMC9153976

Publications 7.1.2