RAIPUR: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to various changes in our lives. And the nationwide lockdown has brought a striking transformation in our sleep cycle, altering the timing of meal intake besides the digital adoption.
An online national survey conducted by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Raipur, revealed a pattern of significant delay in sleep and wake-up time besides the hours of our daily dietary intake.
A 3-member team of senior AIIMS professors carried out the survey through structured questionnaires touching 1511 participants of over 18 years to trace the impact of Covid-19 lockdown on sleep-wake schedules and the associated lifestyle-related behavior change.
Results showed that the sleep onset and wake-up time has been significantly delayed with average sleep onset by around 38 minutes and wake-up time by around 51 minutes during the lockdown.
In some cases, it was found that the average sleeping duration which was between 22.00 to 00.00 PM before lockdown got expanded even beyond 02.00 to 04.00 AM during the lockdown period.
Interestingly the participants also witnessed longer sleeping hours during the pandemic period, even for the people having 10-12 hour length of sleep duration were further increased.
The survey also found the average time for first meal (breakfast), lunch and the last meal (dinner) hours to have been significantly delayed by around 58, 32 and 15 minutes respectively during the lockdown.
Another major change the COVID has caused was the digital media exposure which was much evident by the responses given during the survey.
‘Staying at home during lockdown exposes people to extended artificial light or digital screens due to excessive use of virtual platforms in terms of TV, laptop, mobile among other devices. Increased artificial light exposure however is known to have adverse effects on sleep health. And the survey too established it,” said Prof Ramanjan Sinha, head of department of physiology AIIMS who led the survey programme. The other two members of the team included Babita Pande and Meenakshi Sinha.
The survey has been published in the latest issue of the Journal of Public Health Research 2020.
Prof. (Dr.) Nitin M. Nagarkar informed that AIIMS, Raipur is conducting other simultaneous researches on COVID-19 patient management, effect of different medicines and on topics having potential significance in medical science perspective during COVID-19 pandemic.