Jennifer Martin, PhD: Final Takeaways on Sleep and COVID-19

July 6, 2020
Kenny Walter

The change of schooling likely does not impact the sleep of younger children.

Sleep issues have come under focus since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Jennifer Martin, PhD, professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said many people across the country have fallen into poor sleep habits that could have a lasting impact even if things were to begin to improve as far as shelter-in-place orders and social distancing measures.

So far there has been a mixed bag, where Martin said research shows people are prioritizing sleep and researchers are learning what the limits are in terms of sleep, which could better help drive future clinical care.

When talking about children and adolescents, Martin explained that the extra sleep might be a positive thing for adolescents and likely does not have much of an impact on younger school-aged children.

“Younger kids…they don’t tend to have that later start tendency,” Martin said. “For younger kids this hasn’t had quite so large an effect on their sleep.”

Martin also said switching to telehealth has been successful in sleep and could be a tool that remains in place even after the pandemic has concluded.