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Prospective longitudinal study of ‘Sleepless in Lockdown’: unpacking differences in sleep loss during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK

Prospective longitudinal study of ‘Sleepless in Lockdown’: unpacking differences in sleep loss during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK
Prospective longitudinal study of ‘Sleepless in Lockdown’: unpacking differences in sleep loss during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK

OBJECTIVES: COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and women. Concern over direct and indirect effects may also impact on sleep. We explore the levels and social determinants of self-reported sleep loss among the UK population during the pandemic, focusing on ethnic and gender disparities.

SETTING: This prospective longitudinal study analysed data from seven waves of the Understanding Society: COVID-19 Study collected from April 2020 to January 2021 linked to prepandemic data from the 2019 mainstage interviews, providing baseline information about the respondents prior to the pandemic.

PARTICIPANTS: The analytical sample included 8163 respondents aged 16 and above who took part in all seven waves with full information on sleep loss, defined as experiencing 'rather more' or 'much more' than usual sleep loss due to worry, providing 57 141 observations.

PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-reported sleep loss. Mixed-effects regression models were fitted to consider within-individual and between-individual differences.

RESULTS: Women were more likely to report sleep loss than men (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.9 to 2.4) over the 10-month period. Being female, having young children, perceived financial difficulties and COVID-19 symptoms were all predictive of sleep loss. Once these covariates were controlled for, the bivariate relationship between ethnicity and sleep loss (1.4, 95% CI 1.6 to 2.4) was reversed (0.7, 95% CI 0.5 to 0.8). Moreover, the strength of the association between gender and ethnicity and the risk of sleep loss varied over time, being weaker among women in July (0.6, 95% CI 0.5 to 0.7), September (0.7, 95% CI 0.6 to 0.8), November (0.8, 95% CI 0.7 to 1.0) and January 2021 (0.8, 95% CI 0.7 to 0.9) compared with April 2020, but positively stronger among BAME individuals in May (1.4, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.1), weaker only in September (0.7, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.0).

CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic has widened sleep deprivation disparities, with women with young children, COVID-19 infection and BAME individuals experiencing sleep loss, which may adversely affect their mental and physical health.

COVID-19, Epidemiology, Mental health
2044-6055
Falkingham, Jane
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Evandrou, Maria
cd2210ea-9625-44d7-b0f4-fc0721a25d28
Qin, Min
10d55bfb-f7e6-409a-bcc5-6d2ba1f743e8
Vlachantoni, Athina
06a52fbb-f2a0-4c81-9fbc-d6efc736c6cb
Falkingham, Jane
8df36615-1547-4a6d-ad55-aa9496e85519
Evandrou, Maria
cd2210ea-9625-44d7-b0f4-fc0721a25d28
Qin, Min
10d55bfb-f7e6-409a-bcc5-6d2ba1f743e8
Vlachantoni, Athina
06a52fbb-f2a0-4c81-9fbc-d6efc736c6cb

Falkingham, Jane, Evandrou, Maria, Qin, Min and Vlachantoni, Athina (2022) Prospective longitudinal study of ‘Sleepless in Lockdown’: unpacking differences in sleep loss during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. BMJ Open, 12 (1), [e053094]. (doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-053094).

Record type: Article

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and women. Concern over direct and indirect effects may also impact on sleep. We explore the levels and social determinants of self-reported sleep loss among the UK population during the pandemic, focusing on ethnic and gender disparities.

SETTING: This prospective longitudinal study analysed data from seven waves of the Understanding Society: COVID-19 Study collected from April 2020 to January 2021 linked to prepandemic data from the 2019 mainstage interviews, providing baseline information about the respondents prior to the pandemic.

PARTICIPANTS: The analytical sample included 8163 respondents aged 16 and above who took part in all seven waves with full information on sleep loss, defined as experiencing 'rather more' or 'much more' than usual sleep loss due to worry, providing 57 141 observations.

PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-reported sleep loss. Mixed-effects regression models were fitted to consider within-individual and between-individual differences.

RESULTS: Women were more likely to report sleep loss than men (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.9 to 2.4) over the 10-month period. Being female, having young children, perceived financial difficulties and COVID-19 symptoms were all predictive of sleep loss. Once these covariates were controlled for, the bivariate relationship between ethnicity and sleep loss (1.4, 95% CI 1.6 to 2.4) was reversed (0.7, 95% CI 0.5 to 0.8). Moreover, the strength of the association between gender and ethnicity and the risk of sleep loss varied over time, being weaker among women in July (0.6, 95% CI 0.5 to 0.7), September (0.7, 95% CI 0.6 to 0.8), November (0.8, 95% CI 0.7 to 1.0) and January 2021 (0.8, 95% CI 0.7 to 0.9) compared with April 2020, but positively stronger among BAME individuals in May (1.4, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.1), weaker only in September (0.7, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.0).

CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic has widened sleep deprivation disparities, with women with young children, COVID-19 infection and BAME individuals experiencing sleep loss, which may adversely affect their mental and physical health.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 4 December 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 3 January 2022
Published date: 3 January 2022
Keywords: COVID-19, Epidemiology, Mental health

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 453168
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/453168
ISSN: 2044-6055
PURE UUID: 55143f9e-af60-4d06-9fca-fa287fda7170
ORCID for Jane Falkingham: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7135-5875
ORCID for Maria Evandrou: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2115-9358
ORCID for Min Qin: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5941-9979
ORCID for Athina Vlachantoni: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1539-3057

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Jan 2022 17:51
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 02:16

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