Contact: Stephanie Corkett

National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Health Journal Article Highlights Evidence of Changes in Sleep Timing, Duration, and Variability during COVID-19

Washington, D.C. (March 23, 2021): Current research published in the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) Sleep Health Journal shows evidence of changes to sleep behavioral patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changes in Sleep Duration, Timing, and Variability during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Large-Scale Fitbit Data from 6 Major U.S. Cities (Rezaei and Grandner) reviewed aggregated, de-identified sleep data from active Fitbit users in six major U.S. cities. Comparison of data taken in January (pre-pandemic) and April 2020 showed mean sleep duration increased, mean bedtime shifted later, and mean sleep duration variability decreased among most age groups.

In this study during the pandemic, sleep duration increased on average across age and gender groups, and the change was most apparent in younger adults aged 18-29 who experienced the greatest delay in bedtime. “Younger adults may live under increased circadian pressure to advance their sleep period to conform to social norms and work schedules. When the opportunity was presented, this age group went to bed later but slept more” said article author Michael A. Grandner, PhD MTR, Director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona.

In May and June of 2020, many of the changes identified in the prior months started to drift back to historical norms. The authors suggest that habits formed during the pandemic that could positively affect sleep should be considered for the future.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends maintaining consistent bed and wake times, even on weekends. Working remotely and learning from home during the pandemic has presented unique challenges and opportunities for promoting healthy sleep. For more information about how to prioritize sleep, visit

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice.