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We're all sleeping worse due to COVID-19, study shows

People are sleeping more amid coronavirus lockdowns, but sleep quality is worse, according to a new study.


Spending more time at home due to coronavirus lockdowns has given people more time to sleep -- but that sleep has not been restful, according to a new study published in the journal Current Biology on Wednesday. 

The study from the University of Basel in Switzerland examined sleep patterns in 435 people during the strictest phase of lockdown in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, from mid-March through April. Working from home let people adjust their sleep schedules to match their biological rhythms -- often staying up later and sleeping later, and keeping sleep more consistent between weekdays and weekends, reducing what's known as "social jetlag." The new schedules also added an average of 15 minutes of sleep on per night, the study found. Despite this, sleep quality declined, participants reported. 

"Usually, we would expect a decrease in social jetlag to be associated with reports of improved sleep quality," cognitive neuroscientist and study co-author Christine Blume said in a press release. "However, in our sample, overall sleep quality decreased. We think that the self-perceived burden, which substantially increased during this unprecedented COVID-19 lockdown, may have outweighed the otherwise beneficial effects of a reduced social jetlag."

Read more: Coronavirus pandemic is leading many to have wild dreams

It's not surprising that the stress of the pandemic worsened sleep quality, Blume said in the release. But from a sleep health perspective, the increase in sleep duration and regularity is a positive change, she added. 

For more, check out CNET's tips on how to get better sleep, the best ways to track your sleep and how to take care of your mental health during coronavirus

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.