The Moderating Role of Lifestyle on Insomnia in Home Quarantine College Students During the COVID-19 Epidemic

Jinfang Zhang, Lin Mi, Jingbo Zhao, Huilin Chen, Dongfang Wang, Zijuan Ma, Fang Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There has been sufficient evidence for the relationship between lifestyle and insomnia in the general population, but for individuals who already suffer from insomnia, it is not clear whether a healthy lifestyle can also pose similar benefits. The present study investigated the roles of different aspects of lifestyle in the development of individual insomnia by tracking insomnia symptoms of college students during the COVID-19 lock-down. Two surveys were conducted on 65,200 college students in the process of home isolation in Guangdong Province of China, at the pandemic outbreak period (T1) and the initial remission period (T2), respectively. Given the objectives of the present study, a total of 1,702 college students with clinical insomnia from T1 were selected as subjects. Insomnia symptoms were assessed using the Youth Self Rating Insomnia Scale (YSIS), while demographic information, epidemic exposure, and lifestyle were all measured by self-developed questionnaire, through network survey. The 1,702 college students (mean age ± standard deviation, 20.06 ± 1.46, range 16–25; 71.9% females) with insomnia symptoms were divided into three trajectory groups: recovery group, remission group, and chronic insomnia group according to their insomnia scores in T2 phase. The results showed that there was no significant difference in demographic backgrounds or epidemic exposure among the three groups, however, there were significant differences in food intake, exercise, and Internet use. The regression results further showed that both the recovery group and the remission group adopted more regular food intake than the chronic group. The recovery group exhibited better daily exercise habits than both the remission group and the chronic group. The duration of Internet use was significantly shorter for the recovery group than for the chronic group. These findings indicate a strong relationship between the lifestyle and the recovery of insomnia for college students isolated at home during the epidemic period. Significance of the different aspects of lifestyle on the recovery of insomnia are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number830383
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • college student
  • food intake
  • insomnia
  • lifestyle
  • the COVID-19 epidemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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