Original Article

Psychological and illness-related correlates of insomnia in mildly symptomatic Nigerian COVID-19 adult patients during self-isolation

Olutayo Aloba1, Tolulope Opakunle2

1Department of Mental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
2Department of Mental Health, State Specialist Hospital, Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria


Background: Globally, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the sleep quality of healthcare workers and healthy subjects. There is a dearth of studies on the extent and factors associated with insomnia among COVID-19 patients in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. Our aim in this study is to assess the extent and the illness-related and psychological correlates of insomnia in a cross-sectional sample of mildly symptomatic Nigerian COVID-19 adult patients.
Methods: Nigerian COVID-19 patients (n=498) aged 18 years and above completed an online survey that consisted of sociodemographic and illness-related details, the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7), the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8), suicidal ideation (item 9 of the PHQ-9) and the Brief Symptoms Rating Scale (BSRS-5).
Results: Insomnia of varying degrees was present in 22.5%. Hierarchical linear regression analysis showed that the combination of psychological distress, suicidal ideation, and duration of self-isolation were significantly associated with insomnia (accounts for 86% of the variance on ISI scores).
Conclusions: Our study revealed that insomnia is relatively common among the mildly symptomatic COVID-19 Nigerian adult patients. The associated factors may serve as a template for the development of insomnia improving interventions for mildly symptomatic Nigerian COVID-19 patients.

Keywords: COVID-19; insomnia; psychological distress; suicidal ideation