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Are anxiety and depression related to poor sleep quality in university professors during the COVID-19 pandemic?


University professors present several mental health-related symptoms, such as sleep disorders, anxiety and depression. During the COVID-19 pandemic, health practitioners and researchers observed a surge in depressive and anxious symptoms and worse sleep quality.


To analyze factors associated with poor sleep quality among university professors during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.


A virtual questionnaire via Google Forms® platform was sent to professors via university working groups and e-mail lists. The instrument comprised questions about gender, age, self-isolation and specific questionnaires: Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI); State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI); Mental Health Index (MHI-5); Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) and International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). All of the participants signed an Informed Consent Term and the research was approved by the Ethics Committee in Research (no. 4.036.797). The data were analyzed using IBM Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences® version 26.0 and a descriptive level criterion of 5% (p<0.05) was adopted.


A total of 96 participants participated in the study. Half of the participants (n=48) had poor sleep quality in the study. Using bivariate analysis, state-anxiety (p=0.014) and depressive symptoms (p=0.038) were the only factors associated with poor sleep quality. 52.1% of the sample had medium to high anxiety risk (STAI-S), and among them, 62.0% had poor sleep quality. 41.7% of the university professors had depressive symptoms, and from those, 62.5% were not sleeping well. In a binary logistic regression model, professors with depressive symptoms had a 2.39 times higher risk of poor sleep quality (p=0.040/ 95% CI: 1.04-5.50); and those with state-anxiety had a 2.78 times higher risk of poor sleep quality (p=0.015/ 95% CI: 1.22-6.37).


In this study, the presence of state-anxiety or depressive symptoms were risk factors associated with the higher incidence of poor sleep quality among university professors.


sleep quality, COVID-19, university professors, mental health.


Área Básica


UEMG - Minas Gerais - Brasil, UNIMONTES - Minas Gerais - Brasil


João Flávio Almeida Abreu, Ana Carolina Rodrigues, Moisés Vieira Carvalho, Renato Sobral Monteiro Junior, Vinícius Dias Rodrigues, Frederico Sander Mansur Machado