Introduction: In Italy, lockdown due to COVID-19 health emergency started on March 10 and partially ended on May 3rd, 2020. There was a significant increase of psychological distress and symptoms of mental illness, and worsening of quality of sleep in the general population.
Methods: Participants completed an anonymous web-based survey that include questionnaires about sleep and anxiety and depression symptoms. Our sample included 400 subjects: 307 students (mean age 22.84 ± 2.68) and 93 university administration staff workers (mean age 37.02 ± 12.46).
Results: we found an increase in Bed Time hour, Sleep Latency, and Wake-Up time between before and during COVID-19 emergency and a worsening of sleep quality and of insomnia symptoms. In particular, during the lockdown, the impact of the delay in Bed Time and in Wake-Up was more pronounced in students. In workers, we observed a prevalence of maintenance insomnia before COVID-19 of 24% that significantly increase during COVID-19 reaching 40%, while workers with difficulties in sleep initiation were only 15% that increased to 42%. In our sample, 27.8% showed depressive symptoms, while 34.3% showed anxious symptoms, in particular in students.
Conclusion: The impact of lockdown was greater in students than in workers, and in females than in males. Concerning the psycho-emotional aspects, about one-third of our sample showed depressive or anxious symptoms. The results of our study may provide support for the implementation of some interventions for well-being in pandemic condition.
Keywords: Anxiety; COVID-19; Depression; Sleep.