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COVID-19: Researchers want to know how your sleep is doing

COVID-19: Researchers want to know how your sleep is doing

How is your sleep doing during the COVID-19 pandemic? Researchers from a dozen countries around the world — including a professor at Laval University — want to know.

Scientists on Monday began looking for participants for this international study that will assess the impact of the pandemic and containment on sleep patterns and mental health. 

"We've had Zoom conference calls for three weeks, and we've been thinking, "We need to do something," because everyone is concerned about sleep problems," says Charles Morin, a professor at Laval University's School of Psychological, who leads the Canadian/Quebec section of research.  

As Le Soleil recently reported, there are several signs that the COVID-19 crisis has already affected Quebecers' sleep. Mr. Morin and his colleagues are seeking to document the extent of this disruption and to identify its manifestations at the international level. 

"Our questions are framed to ask people to get back to the peak of the pandemic," says Morin.

Scientists are looking for 1,000 people over the age of 18, with or without sleep difficulty, to complete a questionnaire of about 40 questions and which should take about 20 minutes. 

In addition to researchers from Canada, colleagues from Finland, Norway, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, China, Japan, Germany and Austria are working on the research. 

In Italy, a study has already given an overview of the nights troubled by the pandemic. At the end of March, Italian researchers surveyed their compatriots on the quality of their sleep during confinement. 

In particular, they noticed that people went to bed and woke up later. They also moved more time in bed, but paradoxically they slept less well. 

The increase in sleep difficulties was greater for people with higher levels of depression, anxiety and stress. 

The international study to which Charles Morin contributes will allow to document more precisely sleep difficulties and compare the results of the ten countries surveyed. 

The anonymous questionnaire is already online and will be available for about three weeks. Charles Morin hopes that there will be as many respondents as possible. "If we have 2000, we'll take them all!" he says.


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