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Indian J Psychiatry ; 64(4): 354-363, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1957516


Background: Literature suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in poor sleep quality, especially among the infected population. However, literature regarding the effect of COVID-19 pandemic and SARS-CoV-2 infection on occurrence of insomnia, restless legs syndrome and dream enactment behavior is either scarce or unavailable. Methods: This study was planned to assess the effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the occurrence of insomnia, restless legs syndrome (RLS) and dream enactment behavior (DEB). For this cross-sectional study, a questionnaire comprising of items related to demographic details, past medical history, and information related to SARS-CoV-2 infection was distributed through social media. Insomnia was diagnosed using clinical criteria. RLS, DEB, sleep quality, depression and anxiety were assessed using a validated questionnaire. Information regarding the use of hypnotic medications was also gathered. Results: Of the 1596 respondents, 37.2% reported disturbed sleep while insomnia was reported by 22.6% respondents. 27.3% of respondents reported RLS and 17.4% suffered DEB. The odds of insomnia were greater among males (OR = 1.27; 95% CI: 1.03-1.58; P < 0.02) and among those who had SARS-CoV-2 infection (OR = 1.76; 95% CI = 1.42-2.19; P < 0.001). Similarly, SARS-CoV-2 infection was also associated with increased odds of RLS (OR = 2.48; 95% CI = 1.98-3.11; P < 0.001) and DEB (OR = 1.58; 95%CI = 1.21-2.06; P < 0.001). Insomnia, RLS and DEB were more frequent among respondents who required oxygen therapy, those who experienced loss of taste and/or smell, depression and anxiety. Prevalence of insomnia, DEB and RLS was higher than said prevalence among respondents with no history of SARS-CoV-2 infection, but lower than that of those with positive history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. 5.3% of respondents reported taking hypnotic medications before infection, 7% during infection and 5.3% after infection. Conclusion: SARS-CoV-2-infection-related factors in association with environmental factors have increased the prevalence of insomnia, DEB and RLS among subjects having infection. SARS-CoV-2-associated immunological changes, hypoxia and neurotropism may play a role in occurrence of insomnia, DEB and RLS.

Indian J Psychiatry ; 62(4): 370-378, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-738113


INTRODUCTION: To mitigate the spread of the pandemic coronavirus infection (COVID-19), governments across the world have adopted "lockdowns" which have confined many individuals to their homes. This disrupts normal life routines, elements of which are important circadian cues. The pandemic is also associated with new stressors, altered roles, and uncertainties about health and economic security, which are also likely to affect sleep. The current study is an online survey of sleep experience, routines, physical activity, and symptoms of anxiety and depression, to study the alterations associated with the lockdown. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The survey was conducted in early May 2020 using a questionnaire circulated through social media platforms. Questions related to demographic characteristics, current and previous sleep schedules, routine, and working patterns. Insomnia (Insomnia Severity Index - 4), Stress (Perceived Stress Scale - 4), anxiety and depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire - 4) and physical activity (International Physical Activities Questionnaire) were assessed using standardized instruments. RESULTS: A total of 958 valid responses were received. Compared to the prelockdown period, there was a shift to a later bedtime and waking time, with a reduction in night-time sleep and an increase in day-time napping. These effects were visible across occupational groups, but mostly affected working individuals except health professionals. Sleep quality deteriorated across groups. Reductions in sleep duration were associated with depressive symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 lockdown is associated with changes in sleep schedule and in the quantity and quality of night-time sleep. Although these changes are associated with elevated rates of emotional symptoms, it is unclear from these cross-sectional results, whether sleep deterioration produces psychological distress, or vice versa.