Less Sleep, More Burnout Linked to Higher COVID-19 Risk: Stu
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Sleep habits and burnout have been shown to be associated with an increase in infectious diseases, but it is unknown if these factors are associated with the risk of COVID-19. Researchers assessed whether sleep and self-reported burnout may be risk factors for COVID-19 among high-risk healthcare workers (HCWs).

From 17 July to 25 September 2020, a web-based survey was administered to HCWs in six countries with a high frequency of workplace exposure. Participants provided information on demographics, sleep, burnout from work, and COVID-19 exposures. They used multivariable linear and logistic regression models to evaluate the associations between sleep, burnout, and COVID-19.


Among 2884 exposed HCWs, there were 568 COVID-19 cases and 2316 controls. After adjusting for confounders, 1-hour longer sleep duration at night was associated with 12% lower odds of COVID-19. Daytime napping hours were associated with 6% higher odds, but the association varied by country, with a non-significant inverse association in Spain.

Compared with having no sleep problems, having three sleep problems was associated with 88% greater odds of COVID-19. Reporting burnout ‘everyday’ was associated with greater odds of COVID-19, longer duration, and severity compared with reporting no burnout. These associations remained significant after adjusting for the frequency of COVID-19 exposures.


In six countries, longer sleep duration was associated with lower odds of COVID-19, but the association with daytime naps may not be consistent across countries. Greater sleep problems and a high level of burnout were robustly associated with greater odds of COVID-19. Sleep and burnout may be risk factors for COVID-19 in high-risk HCWs.