Curr Health Sci J, vol. 47, no. 2, 2021

In-Depth Characterization of Sleep Patterns Among People with Insomnia During the Pandemic of COVID-19

[Original Paper]

Amin Nakhostin-Ansari(1), Samaneh Akbarour(2), Khosro Sadeghniiat Haghighi(2), Zahra Banafsheh Alemohammad(2), Farnaz Etesam(3,4), Arezu Najafi(2)

(1)Sports Medicine Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran,
(2)Occupational Sleep Research Center, Baharloo Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran,
(3)Baharloo hospital, Tehran University of medical sciences, Tehran, Iran,
(4)Psychosomatic Medicine Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on sleep duration and insomnia have been well studied in different studies. However, there is no study available on the characteristics of insomnia during the pandemic. This study aimed to evaluate the characteristics of insomnia experienced by the general Iranian population during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods. A cross-sectional community-based study was designed. We designed an online questionnaire and sent it to Iranian people via available social platforms. The questionnaire contained questions on the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants. We used Fear of COVID-19 scale (FCV-19), Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-2 (GAD-2) for detailed characterization of insomnia and its symptoms. Results. In total, 675 people with insomnia with the mean age of 40.28 years (SD=11.15) participated in our study. Prevalence of difficulty initiating sleep (DIS), difficulty maintaining sleep (DMS), and early morning awakening (EMA) were 91.4%, 86.7%, and 77%, respectively. DIS, DMS, and EMA were more common in people with depression and anxiety. FCV-19 score was higher in those with more severe types of DIS, DMS, and EMA (P<0.001). FCV-19 was a risk factor for all patterns of insomnia (OR=1.19, 1.12, 1.02 for DIS, DMS, and EMA, respectively). Conclusion. Fear of COVID-19 is a major contributing factor to insomnia patterns. Investigation of COVID-19 fear in people with insomnia and the addition of attributed relieving or management strategies to conventional management of insomnia are reasonable approaches to improve the sleep condition of people in the pandemic

Insomnia, Pandemic, Sleep, Early morning awakening, Difficulty intiating sleep, Difficulty maintaining sleep

Arezu Najafi, Occupational Sleep Research Center, Baharloo Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, e-mail:

DOI 10.12865/CHSJ.47.02.02 - Download PDF