A Probiotic to Improve Sleep Quality during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Questionnaire Study

Author(s): Angela Horvath, Jolana Wagner-Skacel, Verena Stiegelbauer, and Vanessa Stadlbauer

Sleep quality has been related to the gut microbiome and probiotics were shown to improve sleep quality, especially in people under physical or mental stress. COVID-19 results in such mental stress, leading to sleeping disorders, especially in people working in health care. A large dataset of quality of life data from people working in pharmacies or doctors´ offices was collected before and after intake of a free sample of a multi-species probiotic during a marketing survey. 9841 anonymous datasets were available for analysis. Group differences and univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed. COVID-19 related data were obtained from publicly available datasets and matched to quality of life data via the postal code of the participants. We aimed to relate self-reported quality of life, especially sleep quality data from a marketing survey to objective criteria of COVID-19, such as incidence and mortality figures at the time of the survey. The intake of only a two-week course of a multi-species probiotic markedly improved sleep quality, mental health, vitality, stress resistance and performance. Improvement in the different categories of quality of life was influenced by sex, age, initial intestinal complaints, the initial stress level, the initial sleep quality, initial vitality and mental health. Quality of life was reduced during COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic values of the general population. We also found some associations of changes in quality of life in relation to COVID-19 incidence rates in employees of pharmacies and doctors´ offices, however to a lesser extent than expected. Although not derived from a clinical trial, this analysis of marketing survey data provides evidence that there is a link between the gut microbiome, sleep and quality of life suggesting that gut microbiome modulation could be a valuable therapeutic approach in sleeping disorders.

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