Prior sleep-wake behaviors are associated with mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic among adult users of a wearable device in the United States

Mark Czeisler, Emily R. Capodilupo, Matthew D. Weaver, Charles A. Czeisler, Mark E. Howard, Shantha M.W. Rajaratnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To characterize objective sleep patterns among U.S. adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to assess for associations between adverse mental health symptoms and (1) sleep duration and (2) the consistency of sleep timing before and during the pandemic. Design: Longitudinal objective sleep-wake data during January-June 2020 were linked with mental health and substance use assessments conducted during June 2020 for The COVID-19 Outbreak Public Evaluation (COPE) Initiative. Setting: Adult users of WHOOP—a commercial, digital sleep wearable. Participants: Adults residing in the U.S. and actively using WHOOP wearable devices, recruited by WHOOP, Inc. Intervention: The COVID-19 pandemic and its mitigation. Measurements: Anxiety or depression symptoms, burnout symptoms, and new or increased substance use to cope with stress or emotions. Results: Of 4912 participants in the primary analytic sample (response rate, 14.9%), we observed acutely increased sleep duration (0.25 h or 15 m) and sleep consistency (3.51 points out of 100) and delayed sleep timing (onset, 18.7 m; offset, 36.6 m) during mid-March through mid-April 2020. Adjusting for demographic and lifestyle variables, participants with persistently insufficient sleep duration and inconsistent sleep timing had higher odds of adverse mental health symptoms and substance use in June 2020. Conclusions: U.S. adult wearable users displayed increased sleep duration, more consistent sleep timing, and delayed sleep onset and offset times after the COVID-19 pandemic onset, with subsample heterogeneity. Associations between adverse mental health symptoms and pre- and mid-pandemic short sleep duration and inconsistent sleep timing suggest that these characteristics warrant further investigation as potential modifiable mental health and substance use risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-321
Number of pages11
JournalSleep Health
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Coronavirus
  • Depression
  • Epidemiology
  • Substance use
  • Wearable

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