COVID-19, and anxiety: don’t overlook sleep disorders, says a researcher from Quebec

Fear of falling ill, confinement, loss of landmarks: the pandemic of sars coronavirus, the source ofanxiety, can cause sleep disorders, and even mental health, anticipates a researcher from Quebec, who began a large-scale survey on this topic.

The professor at the University of Laval, Charles Morin, raises, “[that]we hear about a lot of stress, anxiety, with reason, that are generated by this pandemic-there.”

“People relate to a lot of nightmares or at the very least, they bring in a lot of dreams”, a-t-he noticed also.

To get to the impressions, the one who is holder of the Canada research chair on sleep disorders is launching this week an online questionnaire lasting approximately 20 minutes.

Participants sought

It needs the participation of at least 1,000 Quebecers over the age of 18 years to help his team to paint a true picture of the impacts of the pandemic on the sleep patterns and the well-being of the population.

It is, in fact, an international research project, in which collaboration with scientists from 10 countries, and of which Mr. Morin oversees the canadian component.

“There is a tendency to trivialise sleep and take it for granted. It is, however, one of the three pillars of a sustainable health in the same way that it is important to eat well, to train,” insists this expert.

A sleep problem in the short term, such as difficulty falling asleep, waking up early or nightmares, should not necessarily worry us, but if he persists in the time, “it is a risk factor for mental health problems” such as anxiety and depression, ” says Charles Morin.

“To the limit, perhaps even post-traumatic stress”, he adds.

However, the crisis of the sars coronavirus has several sources of anxiety or factors that may affect sleep, ” he observes, whether we think the fear of being infected, to the uncertainty of the future, or even to the loss of marks caused by the confinement, such as the sunrise and sunset at different times of the day, a lower exposure to the light of day, and the reduction of social relations.


Studies conducted in China recently, says Mr. Morin, suggest that about 35% of health workers have lived experience of insomnia, and that up to 50% had depressive symptoms during the pandemic.

“There are still many health workers who feel somewhat powerless in the face of everything that they see around them, and we did not need to go to China to know that”, says Mr. Morin, highlighting the distress experienced here, in Quebec, by health-care staff.

That said, the study begins is wider. “All the world” can respond to the questionnaire, whether as a health worker or not, whether or not the sleep difficulties. Everything is done in a manner “completely anonymous.”

To participate in the research: click here.


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