Keeps Me Awake at Night: The Potential of the COVID-19 Pandemic to Affect Sleep Quality Among Sexual Minority Men in the U.S.A.

Brett M. Millar, Trinae Adebayo, Trey V. Dellucci, Evelyn Behar, Tyrel J. Starks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Sleep health, a crucial component and predictor of physical and mental health, has likely been adversely impacted by the stress and disruption wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. This brief report sought to assess self-reported sleep quality among sexual minority men across the United States in the early months of the pandemic. In a cross-sectional online survey of a racially diverse sample of 477 sexual minority men (mean age = 41.2 years; range = 18-75 years) recruited from popular geosocial networking apps in early May 2020, participants reported on their recent experiences regarding sleep and mental health (anxiety, depression, and pessimistic repetitive future thinking). Almost 75% endorsed some level of restless sleep in the past week, 203 (42.6%) reported worse-than-usual sleep quality since the pandemic, and 77 (16.1%) reported sleeping longer than usual but not feeling better rested. Furthermore, of the 280 reporting worse-than-usual sleep or feeling not rested, almost 85% reported that worry about the pandemic had been contributing to their troubles with falling or staying asleep. Rates of worsened sleep were highest among those whose financial situation had been adversely affected and those not in full-time employment, whereas restless sleep was highest among those in the Northeast region of the United States, which, during the study's time frame of late April and early May 2020, was the most severely affected by the pandemic. Greater emotional distress was associated with each sleep variable. Addressing and improving sleep health is critical to overall health and requires particular attention during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Psychology(all)


  • Bisexual
  • Coronavirus
  • Gay
  • Queer
  • Tiredness


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