Lack of outside time during the epidemic likely damaged quality of life and sleep, according to a study.
According to a poll published Wednesday in the Journal of Sleep Research, over half of persons globally saw a loss in quality of life in 2020 as a result of limitations aimed at limiting COVID-19 dissemination.
Furthermore, the research revealed that more than a third of respondents experienced decreased sleep during last year’s “lockdowns,” which saw schools and businesses closed for months in various parts of the world, including the United States.
More than two-thirds of respondents reported lower job productivity as a result of the lockdowns, and more than half reported less physical activity as a result of them.
According to the researchers, these losses coincided with a nearly 60% reduction in outside sunshine exposure and commensurate increases in device use as people were primarily confined to their houses.
Reduced sun exposure has previously been associated to shorter sleep duration and poorer sleep quality, as well as sleeping less deeply.
According to research co-author Maria Korman, these alterations in sleep habits undoubtedly disturbed other parts of survey respondents’ lives.
“Daylight improves alertness, mood, vitality, cognitive function, and regulates our biological clock,” said Korman, an occupational therapy faculty member at Ariel University in Samaria, West Bank.
“Restricting time spent outside has a bad impact on both mental and physical health,” she said.
Many countries implemented lockdown measures to reduce virus exposure as COVID-19 spread globally in March of last year.
School and company closures – the latter confined to personnel in “non-essential” industries – as well as stay-at-home directives were among the measures used in some areas.
Korman and her colleagues based their findings on approximately 12,000 adult answers from 40 nations, including the United States.
The researchers claimed the poll was conducted in April and May of last year, during the height of the pandemic and accompanying shutdowns.
Korman believes that many of the reductions mentioned by respondents during this time period may have been avoided by spending more time outside securely.
“Strategies to increase wellness throughout the pandemic, particularly amid social limitations, should encourage more sun exposure,” she says.
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