Who's been losing sleep during lockdown?

Publication type

Research Paper


Jane Falkingham, Maria Evandrou, Min Qin and Athina Vlachantoni

Publication date

Series Number



Sleep has long been recognised as an essential factor in promoting good health. Previous research has found poor sleep to be associated with stress, anxiety, work pressures, financial concerns and physical activity – all factors which are likely to have changed during lockdown. In this briefing we provide the first insights into how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected sleep in the UK and look at who has been most vulnerable to sleep loss.
Not surprisingly, we find that more people lost sleep due to worry during the first four weeks of the pandemic lockdown than they did before it. In part, this is due to increased anxiety about being infected by coronavirus, with those from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities and key workers being particularly at risk. However, social distancing measures and lockdown itself are also playing a role, with women with young children being more likely to report sleep loss in recent weeks. This reflects the additional stresses of juggling home working and home schooling as well as concerns over finances.
This policy briefing provides an overview of the key findings of a medRxiv article available at:


Demography, Ethnic Groups, Health and Covid 19


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