Sleep and Health-Related Characteristics among Adolescents during COVID-19: An Update

Joëlle N Albrecht, Helene Werner, Noa Rieger, Oskar G Jenni, Reto Huber
Two opposing effects on adolescents' health during COVID-19 lockdown have been described: A beneficial one due to longer sleep times during school closures and a detrimental one of psychological distress. This study investigated how sleep and health changed in the course of the pandemic when schools were open again. Overall, 12,238 adolescents in Switzerland participated in three cross-sectional online surveys: In 2017 under regular conditions (control group), during pandemic school closures in
more » ... 2020 (closure group), and in 2021 still under pandemic conditions, but schools were open again (postclosure group). Sleep behavior and health-related characteristics (health-related quality of life; caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine use) in all three groups and depressive symptoms in the closure and postclosure groups were assessed. The sleep period on school days was longer in the closure group (median 9.00 h, interquartile range 8.25-9.75) and similar in the postclosure (7.92, 7.00-8.50) compared to the control group (7.75, 7.08-8.33). Health-related characteristics were better during school closures and similar to worse in the postclosure compared to the control group. Depressive symptom levels were higher in the postclosure than in the closure group. Therefore, beneficial effects were specific to school closures and adolescents' psychological distress increased over the course of the pandemic.
doi:10.5167/uzh-220814 fatcat:k5myjbftuff5hcjit44vu663ey