1. In this study, narcolepsy and hypersomnia patients reported an increase in sleep time and delays in bedtime (BT) and wake time (WT) during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.
2. Narcolepsy patients reported significant improvements in cataplexy and sleep-related hallucinations during lockdowns.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, strict regulations have been enforced in many countries to minimize the spread of the virus. Telework has normalized globally, and evidence has demonstrated profound alterations in human sleep patterns that emerged from this condition. In this observational cohort study, the impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on sleep habits and symptoms of narcolepsy type 1 (NT1) and type 2 (NT2) and idiopathic hypersomnia (IH) patients in France was investigated.
A total of 219 (of 851 recruited) NT1, NT2, and IH patients from the Pitié-Salpétrière hospital, France completed a 78-question survey that assessed a variety of factors, including demographics, sleep habits, hypersomnia symptoms, and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score, which measures excessive daytime sleepiness (scale 0-3, 0=no sleepiness, 3=high) in individuals. Participants who did not complete the survey were excluded from the study. Furthermore, this study looked at comparisons between patients who worked as teleworkers and in-person at their occupations.
Participants reported a significant increase in night sleep time and decrease in ESS. Furthermore, 46.1% of participants reported a delay in bedtime, and 59.6% of participants reported a delay in waketime (primarily by IH patients). Teleworkers reported a significant increase in night sleep and a mean decrease in sleepiness score. 54.1% of NT1 participants reported a decrease or disappearance in cataplexy, and a large percentage of NT1 and NT2 patients indicated decreases in sleep-related hallucinations. However, half of the respondents reported experiencing insomnia at some point during lockdowns. This study was limited in its low response rate (25.7%). Nonetheless, the study was significant in revealing the changes in sleep patterns, health, and severity of symptoms of hypersomnia patients that occurred during COVID-19 lockdown measures.
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