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Tuesday, 19 May 2020

The Coronavirus lockdown has had this surprising health benefit for many Americans

While coronavirus is causing a global health crisis, new data shows that the coronavirus lockdowns and social distancing measures are actually having some positive effects on health across the country.
Fitness technology company Fitbit pulled data from its wearable devices used in six cities across the country, according to Fast Company. The goal was to determine how sleeping patterns have changed before and after the country began sheltering in place.
Data from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, New York, and Phoenix, shows that the lockdown has had a surprisingly positive effect on many American’s quality and length of sleep each night.

Americans are getting more sleep during the coronavirus lockdown

Comparing data from April and January, Fitbit found that people were getting 17 minutes more sleep per night in April than they were at the beginning of the year – before shutdowns began.
Even further, 36% of those people are now getting an additional 30 minutes of sleep or more compared to before the lockdown began.

Quality of sleep has also improved during the coronavirus lockdown

While it’s great that people are getting more sleep, what’s even better is that quality of sleep has seemed to improve, too.
Fitbit uses factors like sleep duration and restorative value to rank a night’s sleep from one to 100 on its quality of sleep scale. During this crisis, the average rank for quality of sleep has increased 1.8 points. A typical score falls between 72 and 83.
The score improvement is mainly due to an increase in the duration of sleep, but increases in REM sleep and Deep Sleep have also helped boost the score during this time period.
Without a commute to worry about, many people are finding it acceptable to get to bed later. Fitbit’s researchers noted that people are going to bed an average of 16 minutes later than they did before they began staying at home.

Not all Americans are sleeping better right now

Withings, a company that makes smart scales and wearables, did report that its customers in the U.S. are sleeping an average of 12 minutes longer per night than they were before shelter-in-place was put into action.
While this data makes it seem as though most people are sleeping more right now, people who use wearables do not represent the entire country. Covid-induced anxiety is not exactly a friend to your quality of sleep. According to a recent survey, completed by SleepStandards,  over 76% of Americans said their sleep was affected by the pandemic.
The survey found that 48% of Americans were feeling anxious about what’s going on around them, 26% were worrying about loved ones, and 23% were suffering from loneliness. If you are in one of these groups, use these tips to keep coronavirus worries from disrupting your sleep.
Even further, more than half of the survey respondents reported sleeping at least one less hour every night, while just over 27% said they are missing about two hours of shuteye daily.

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