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Canadians are spending more time in bed – but sleeping less – due to COVID stress: poll

Study by Leva Sleep found that British Columbians are disproportionately worried about a second outbreak

Canadians are spending more time in bed amid the pandemic, according to a new poll published by an Ontario mattress company. But, respondents reported that they’re sleeping and “entertaining” (that is, between the sheets) less than before the coronavirus took hold in March.

It may come as no surprise to those of us feeling under-slept lately, but a survey published Tuesday (Aug. 18) by Toronto’s Leva Sleep suggests that COVID-19 and politics are keeping Canadians up at night.

Company founder, Matthew Timmins, said in a phone interview that nearly half of 1,000 surveyed Canadians reported spending more time in bed since the pandemic took hold in March. According to Leva’s study, almost 10 per cent more surveyed Canadian women (54 per cent) than men (46 per cent) said they’ve been logging more bedtime now than before the “before times.”

The survey’s results show that COVID-anxiety accounts for a statistically high proportion of Canadians’ reported sleep deprivation, or just over 20 per cent. Nearly 8 per cent more respondents said that they’re tossing and turning not so much out of fears of the coronavirus itself as fears of an impending second wave of the pandemic.

The study highlighted that a statistically higher proportion of British Columbians reported being regularly kept up at night worrying that the pandemic will get worse before it gets better than those in other provinces. That translates to almost 32.5 per cent of those in B.C., compared with only 23 per cent of Canadians across the prairies and 29 per cent of Canadians in Ontario and Quebec.

Apart from COVID, Leva Sleep found that politics – especially American politics – have Canadians in bed more but sleeping less. Again, British Columbians came in ahead of the national average, with just over 30 per cent of provincial respondents saying politics were stalking their sleep compared to around 29 per cent nationwide. Among politics-addled British Columbians, the poll concluded most, or almost 23 per cent, are worried about politics in the United States, with the remaining 7.5 per cent losing sleep over politics in Canada.

Timmins said his company commissioned the study to see if Canadians were spending more time in bed and, if so, what they were doing on their mattresses. Timmins Leva Sleep’s market researchers compiled the poll’s results from Google surveys by roughly 100 people in each of Canada’s 10 provinces.

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