"Sleep is both a cause and a consequence of the state of health of the French"

“Sleep is both a cause and a consequence of the state of health of the French”

HAS On the eve of the Sleep Congress organized by the French Society for Sleep Research and Medicine (SFRMS) and the French-speaking Pneumology Society (SPLF) which is being held in Lille from November 23 to 25, an assessment is needed on the state of sleep of the French, in this new post-Covid era.

the CoviP barometerrev highlights 71% of sleep complaints reported in the general population, ie 10% more in two years, which is an important warning signal. Vaccination campaigns and health prevention measures have generally given very satisfactory results on the spread and consequences of the virus. The sleep community is sounding the alarm over changing mental health indicators and sleep complaints.

Since March 2020, the perception of life, the level of sleep complaints, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts are collected regularly on a representative sample of the general population. Two striking elements are to be taken into consideration regarding these sleep complaints. They are schematically three times higher than complaints of anxiety and/or depression. Their prevalence, which has never decreased, reached heights never recorded before when the last measurement was carried out in September 2022.

Increase since 2020 in sleep complaints

Anxiodepressive complaints vary according to the periods: schematically, in a confined period, “we are going badly”, in a deconfined period, “we are better”. With a return to normal linked to a lasting decrease in psychosocial stress, one could have hoped for the same for sleep disorders. Unfortunately, since the start of their evaluation in 2020, sleep complaints have steadily increased, regardless of the evolution of complaints of anxiety and depression.

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It should be noted that, at the same time, the positive perception of French life has started to decline again, mirroring the increase in sleep complaints. If, at the start of the Covid crisis, sleep disorders had been analyzed as consequences of the epidemic, it must be recognized that the situation is changing. Initially, sleep complaints, in particular insomnia and non-restorative sleep, were explained quite simply by the disruptions in our sleep-wake rhythms linked to confinements.

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Currently, scientific studies that have analyzed different sleep parameters during this period have brought new data. On the one hand, disturbed sleep leads to susceptibility to infections: for example, the shift in sleep cycle and duration between weekdays and weekends doubles the risk of contracting Covid. (Coelho et al., Sleep Medicine Review, 2022). On the other hand, complaints of insomnia multiply by 2.8 the risk of developing a depressive state (Hertenstein, sleeping medicine, 2019).

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