Ditching the screen can help you sleep post-Covid-19

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

Increased nighttime use of electronic devices during the Covid-19 pandemic harmed people's sleeping habits, according to a new study of Italians in lockdown.

To study its effects, researchers conducted a web-based survey of more than 2 100 Italian residents during the third and the seventh weeks of the country's national lockdown.

READ MORE | How much sleep is enough? Here are 5 stages of shut-eye that help regulate mental and overall wellness

Researchers evaluated sleep quality and insomnia symptoms, using the respected Pittsburgh Sleep Quality and Insomnia Severity Index as a methods of measurement.

The study found that 92.9 percent reported an increase in their electronic device usage between the first and second surveys.

Participants also showed decreased sleep quality, an increase in insomnia symptoms, shorter total sleep times, and later bed and waking times. Researchers found an increased prevalence of poor sleepers and those with moderate to severe insomnia symptoms within this group of respondents.

READ MORE | What's your morning routine like? Experts reveal the worst morning habits and how to avoid them

However, they found that 7.1 percent of participants who reduced their screen time between the first and second survey reported improved sleep quality and fewer symptoms of insomnia. This group also demonstrated a decrease in moderate and severe insomnia symptoms.

The study's professor says raising public awareness about the risks of evening exposure to electronic devices could be crucial to preserve general sleep health.

Follow us on social media: FacebookTwitterInstagram.

Sign up to W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.