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 well-being and delayed sleep.

“Our findings suggest that strategies to improve well-being under social restrictions should foster more daylight exposure and good sleep,” says lead author Maria Korman, PhD, MSc, of Ariel University, in Israel, in a release.

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