For many individuals, restrictions implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically altered daily routines and limited time spent outdoors. In a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research that included 7,517 adults from many countries who were surveyed during the 2020 COVID-19 restrictions, median levels of sleep quality, quality of life, physical activity, and productivity deteriorated, while screen time increased and time spent outdoors during the day decreased; however, many survey participants reported no changes or even improvements. Longer sleep and decreased alarm-clock use were linked to better sleep quality and quality of life.
Larger reductions in time spent outside in daylight were linked to deteriorations in wellbeing and delayed sleep.
“Our findings suggest that strategies to improve wellbeing under social restrictions should foster more daylight exposure and good sleep,” said lead author Maria Korman, PhD, MSc, of Ariel University, in Israel.
Reference: “Outdoor daylight exposure and longer sleep promote wellbeing under COVID-19 mandated restrictions” by Maria Korman, Vadim Tkachev, Cátia Reis, Yoko Komada, Shingo Kitamura, Denis Gubin, Vinod Kumar and Till Roenneberg, 21 September 2021, Journal of Sleep Research.