Effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on sleep duration in children and adolescents: A survey across different continents

Athanasios G. Kaditis, Adrienne Ohler, Alex Gileles-Hillel, Shoham Choshen-Hillel, David Gozal, Oliviero Bruni, Secil Aydinoz, Rene Cortese, Leila Kheirandish-Gozal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: A parent survey was conducted to assess the sleep habits of children residing in various countries before and during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. It was hypothesized that lockdown would be associated with increased sleep duration.

METHODS: Outcomes were changes in bedtime, wake time, and sleep duration in the pandemic compared to before. Logistic regression was applied to evaluate the effects of age and covariates on outcomes.

RESULTS: A total of 845 questionnaires completed from May 1 to June 10, 2020 were analyzed (45.8% female; age 3-17 years). During the pandemic, 23.1% of preschoolers, 46.2% of school-age children, and 89.8% of adolescents were going to bed after 10 p.m. on weekdays compared to 7.1%, 9.4%, and 57.1% respectively before the pandemic, with these proportions being higher on weekends. Likewise, 42.5% of preschoolers, 61.3% of school-age children, and 81.2% of adolescents were waking after 8 a.m. on weekdays (11.6%, 4.9%, and 10.3%, before) with these proportions being greater on weekends. Sleep duration did not change in 43% of participants on weekdays and in 46.2% on weekends. The 14-17 years group had fourfold increased odds for longer sleep duration on weekdays (p < .01), and children aged 6-13 years had twofold increased odds for longer sleep duration on weekends relative to the 3-5 years age group (p = .01).

CONCLUSIONS: Although lockdown was associated with later bedtime and wake time, this shift did not alter sleep duration in more than 40% of children. Yet, compared to preschoolers, high school-aged children were more likely to sleep more on weekdays and primary school children on weekends.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2265-2273
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021

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  • disturbed sleep quality
  • insomnia
  • pandemic
  • sleep deficit


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