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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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