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Changes in sleep and diet of adolescent during COVID-19 pandemic


In addition to the challenges commonly observed in adolescence, it is noteworthy that the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused even more changes in the routine of young people. It is known that lack of physical activity, inadequate nutrition and excessive use of screens can impair sleep quality, which can cause poor school performance and even compromise physical and mental health.


To evaluate whether there was any change in the diet and sleep of adolescent schoolchildren during the COVID-19 pandemic.


This is an observational, prospective field study, in which students were subjectively evaluated with an online anamnesis. We evaluated 75 students (63% girls), with an average of 15.9 (±1.0) years old, which were studying at the first (36%), second (23%) or third year (41%) of high school (HS) from a private school in Americana-SP.


When asked about changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, 52 (69%) students said that they had noticed changes in diet. Of these, 15 (29%) indicated increased consumption of ultra-processed foods with higher caloric density, 13 (25%) indicated feeling less hungry and consequently eating less, 12 (23%) improved the quality of food and 9 ( 17%) increased food consumption compared to before the pandemic. As for sleep, 42 students (56%) observed changes during the pandemic, with 8 (19%) students noticing that they are sleeping less, 7 (17%) are sleeping more, 7 (17%) observed that sleep is unregulated and 7 (17%) that sleep is affected by anxiety and insomnia. The 2nd year HS students were the ones who most observed changes in sleep (71%) and diet (82%) during pandemic, followed by 3rd year students (55% changes in sleep and 71% in diet). When asked about the quality of sleep, 14 (33%) students said they do not sleep well because they sleep for a short time and have "unregulated" sleep, seven (17%) said they sleep well only sometimes, four (10%) said they did not sleep well because of anxiety, two (5%) because of insomnia and one student (2%) said that he didn't sleep well because he woke up several times during the night. When we evaluated the usual time for going to bed and waking up before and after the pandemic, it was noted that most students went to sleep and woke up later in the pandemic.


It is concluded that there were changes in sleep and diet habits during the pandemic, with changes in sleep reflecting a lower sleep quality, while positive and negative changes were reported in diet.


Sleep; Diet; Adolescent; COVID-19.


Área Clínica


Universidade Paulista - São Paulo - Brasil


Lais Kanayama Junqueira, Bruna Vadilho de Moura Dias , Lucas Barros Chaves, Natália Vilela Silva Daniel