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Remote working during the pandemic is associated with poor sleep quality: a population-based study, COVID-Inconfidentes


Because of the pandemic, several changes had to be implemented in society and the remote work was one of them.Besides the benefits such as more time with the family, less stress with commuting and traffic, and more flexible schedules, the remote working can be, harmful to the quality of sleep of workers. Not having an ideal environment to work, difficulty to separate domestic and professional activities, and the inability to fully disconnect from the work environment are some of the factors that lead to difficulties in the physical and emotional domain, resulting in some problems such as stress, anxiety, and sleep-related difficulties.


To evaluate the association of remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic with sleep quality.


Cross-sectional, population-based study, between October and December 2020 in two medium-sized cities in Minas Gerais. Sleep was assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, with a global score from 0 to 21. Scores of 5-10 indicate poor sleep quality and greater than 10, a possible sleep disorder. We evaluated the work schedule during the covid-19 pandemic, evaluating partial remote working (some work days remote, other days at the workplace) and total remote working (remote work only, without going to the workplace). Multinomial logistic regression was used to verify the association of remote working (partial or complete) with sleep quality.


Of the individuals evaluated, most were female (51.9%), black or brown (67.9%), with minimum high school education (56.5%), and family income below 5 minimum wages (60.4%). Remote work was reported by 20.3% of the individuals assessed, of these 9.5% were in partial remote work, and 10.8% in complete remote work. Regarding sleep, 38.6% had poor quality, and 13.9% sleep disorder. In multivariate analysis, adjusted for sex, age, income and anxiety and depression symptoms, individuals in remote work had 1.70 times the chance of had poor sleep quality (OR=1.70; 95% CI 1.12-2.58), and 2.35 times the chance of sleep disturbance (OR=2.35; 95% CI: 1.05-5.26).


Individuals in remote work during covid-19 pandemic are more likely to have poor sleep quality and sleep disturbance. Our results are important because remote work has been adopted by several work sectors, and this workday could lead to increased sleep disturbances and may interfere with the daily life as well as the work activities of these workers.


Sleep, workers, teleworking, covid-19.


Área Clínica


Luiz Antônio Alves Menezes-Júnior, George Luiz Lins Machado Coelho, Amanda Cristina Souza, Adriana Lucia Meireles