Estimated sleep duration before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in major metropolitan areas on different continents: Observational study of smartphone app data

Rebecca Robbins, Mahmoud Affouf, Matthew D. Weaver, Mark Czeisler, Laura K. Barger, Stuart F. Quan, Charles A. Czeisler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, public health policies to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and its associated disease, COVID-19, have resulted in significant alterations to daily routines (eg, work-from-home policies) that may have enabled longer sleep duration among the general population. Objective: We aimed to examine changes in estimated sleep duration in 5 major metropolitan areas before and after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We conducted a prospective observational study using estimated sleep duration data obtained from a smartphone app. The data were obtained from regular users of the smartphone app before and after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020. We compared within-subject estimated sleep duration before and during the COVID-19 pandemic using generalized linear mixed models. Results: Among the 2,871,037 observations, 957,022 (33.3%) were from users in London; 549,151 (19.1%) were from users in Los Angeles; 846,527 (29.5%) were from users in New York City; 251,113 (8.7%) were from users in Seoul; and 267,224 (9.3%) were from users in Stockholm. The average age of the users in the sample was 35 years (SE 11 years). Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, people residing in Seoul had the shortest estimated sleep duration (mean 6 hours 28 minutes, SE 11.6 minutes) and those residing in Stockholm had the longest estimated sleep duration (mean 7 hours 34 minutes, SE 9.9 minutes). The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a 13.7 minute increase in estimated sleep duration when comparing March 2019 and March 2020 (95% CI 13.1-14.3, P<.001) and an increase of 22.3 minutes when comparing April 2019 and April 2020 (95% CI 21.5-23.1, P<.001). Conclusions: The average estimated sleep duration increased sharply in the months after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This finding suggests that the implementation of COVID-19 mitigation strategies has provided people worldwide with increased opportunities to sleep, which may enhance the response of the immune system to viral pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20546
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • App
  • COVID-19
  • Mobile health
  • Observational study
  • Sleep
  • Sleep health
  • Sleep tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Estimated sleep duration before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in major metropolitan areas on different continents: Observational study of smartphone app data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this