Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Sleep Disorders, Technology / 03.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michele Ferrara, PhD. Professor of Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology Chair of the Psychology Didactic Council Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences University of L'Aquila MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the current period of social distancing, the pervasive increase in the use of electronic devices (smartphones, computers, tablets and televisions) is an indisputable fact. Especially during the long lockdown period of Spring 2020, technologies played a pivotal role in coping with the unprecedented and stressful isolation phase. However, exposure to backlit screens in the hours before falling asleep can have serious repercussions on sleep health: on the one hand, by mimicking the effects of exposure to sunlight, and thus interfering with the circadian rhythm of the hormone melatonin, and on the other hand, counteracting the evening sleepiness due to the emotionally and psycho-physiologically activating contents. In light of this assumption, we decided to test longitudinally during the third and the seventh week of lockdown a large Italian sample (2123 subjects) through a web-based survey. We assessed sleep disturbances/habits and the occurring changes of electronic device usage in the 2 hours before the sleep onset. (more…)