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Mar 10, 2021

Philips survey reveals COVID-19’s negative impact on sleep quality and CPAP use

  • 70% of people surveyed have experienced one or more new sleep challenges since the start of the pandemic
  • 72% of surveyed sleep apnea patients who discontinued CPAP therapy cited COVID-19 related reasons
  • 58% reported a willingness to use telehealth for a sleep related concern, aligning with Philips’ commitment to delivering connected care telehealth support to people at home

Amsterdam, the NetherlandsRoyal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced the findings of its 6th annual sleep survey in a report titled Seeking Solutions: How COVID-19 Changed Sleep Around the World. Almost a year since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Philips surveyed 13,000 adults in 13 countries to capture attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors around sleep. This year’s survey reveals that, since the beginning of COVID-19, 70% of respondents experienced one or more new sleep challenges, with 60% reporting that the pandemic had directly impacted their ability to sleep well. It also reveals that while such challenges have been widespread, sleep apnea patients have been disproportionately affected. The good news is there is strong interest in implementing tools and strategies – such as telehealth, online information resources, and lifestyle changes – to address these challenges.

More people are turning to online resources and telehealth for sleep concerns

While some people may have relied on lifestyle strategies – such as soothing music, meditation or reading – to address their sleep woes, many turned to online searches to learn more about treatments to improve sleep (34%). With the increased reliance on telehealth during the pandemic, more than half (58%) of respondents expressed a willingness to seek help for sleep related concerns in future from a sleep specialist via telehealth services, although many have yet to take that step. The majority (70%) currently believed it would be difficult [1] to find a sleep specialist through an online or telephone-based program.

This year’s survey results confirm what we’ve known to be true for a while: with the right solutions, care doesn’t have to be defined by a place, but instead by the needs of the individual and his or her condition.

Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong, MD

Chief Medical Liaison, Sleep & Respiratory Care at Philips

“This year’s survey results confirm what we’ve known to be true for a while: with the right solutions, care doesn’t have to be defined by a place, but instead by the needs of the individual and his or her condition,” said Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong, MD, Chief Medical Liaison, Sleep & Respiratory Care at Philips. “The tools required to deliver telehealth efficiently and reliably already exist, and the interest from consumers is apparent, particularly in the face of COVID-19. When used properly, sleep telehealth has the potential to enhance efficiency and quality of care, improve health outcomes, empower patients to make informed decisions, and provide equitable healthcare for all. Extending the reach of patient care through technology means we empower providers to confidently guide patients across multiple settings and transitions of care, driving better health outcomes.”

In 2020, Philips furthered the care-from-anywhere approach in the sleep sector by introducing a clinically-validated, low-touch CPAP Mask Selector tool that can be used remotely from the comfort of the patient’s home. As part of Philips’ complete home-based end-to-end solution that includes Alice NightOne home sleep test, Home Delivery and Remote Set-up kit, and therapy adherence virtual services, Philips’ 2D Mask Selector option means patients with sleep issues may not even need to leave home to receive the diagnosis and treatment they need. On the provider side, clinicians can remotely manage their sleep and respiratory patients using Philips Care Orchestrator.

Sleep apnea patients have struggled with CPAP therapy during COVID-19

Sleep apnea continues to impact quality of sleep across the world, with a slight increase reported by those who have been diagnosed with the issue since last year (2020: 9% vs. 2021: 12%). While Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is the most commonly prescribed treatment for the condition, this year’s survey revealed a drop in the proportion of sleep apnea patients using their CPAP (2020: 36% vs. 2021: 18%) and an increase in the proportion who have never used the CPAP they were prescribed (2020: 10% vs. 2021: 16%).  With 72% of those who discontinued CPAP therapy citing COVID-19 related reasons, ranging from financial challenges (55%) to limited access of supplies (44%), it would appear that the COVID-19 pandemic has been an inhibiting factor in CPAP therapy compliance. Perhaps most concerning, however, was that 57% of those living with sleep apnea had never been prescribed CPAP at all.

Anyone who believes they or a loved one may be at risk for sleep apnea can visit to take an online symptoms quiz, and speak to a healthcare professional right away.

Philips’ latest global sleep survey findings further solidify the company’s commitment to developing clinically-proven solutions to empower those living with sleep apnea and those facing other sleep challenges to take control of their health. For more than 35 years, Philips has been studying sleep from every angle, collecting billions of nights of sleep data to better understand how sleep affects health. Today, Philips’ growing portfolio of sleep solutions collectively address more than 80% of known sleep issues [2]. These solutions and services are supported by clinical research and technical data to offer scientifically personalized care and instill confidence among those who use them.  COVID-19 may have forever impacted the healthcare industry, and sleep care is clearly no exception. Since the beginning of 2020, for example, Philips has seen a 35% increase in the average number of unique devices connecting to its cloud-based sleep and respiratory remote patient management software [3], highlighting the need for such solutions.

To learn more about the Global Sleep Survey and Philips’ commitment to improving access to sleep technology worldwide, visit To learn more about Philips sleep solutions, visit To join the conversation about sleep health and Philips’ growing suite of consumer and physician-prescribed sleep solutions, follow @Philips, @PhilipsSleepWellness or @PhilipsResp.

[1] Indicates net “somewhat” or “complete” agreement with the statement
[2] Snoring, Short Sleep, Insomnia, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
[3] Based on snapshot data from Philips Encore Anywhere database. Percent change between Average daily unique devices connecting to Encore Anywhere by US companies = 1,490,341 as of 12/31/2019 and Average daily unique devices connecting to Encore Anywhere by US companies = 2,005,352 as of 10/1/2020

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2020 sales of EUR 19.5 billion and employs approximately 82,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at

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About the Survey

This survey was conducted online by KJT Group, Inc. on behalf of Philips from November 17 – December 7, 2020 among 13,000 adults ages 18 and older in 13 countries (Australia: n=1,000; Brazil: n=1,000; China: n=1,000; France: n=1,000; Germany: n=1,001; India: n=1,000; Italy: n=1,000; Japan: n=1,000; Netherlands: n=1,000; Singapore: n=1,000; South Korea: n=999; United Kingdom: n=1,000; and the U.S.: n=1,000). The survey was web-based and self-administered in the primary language(s) of each country. These were non-probability samples and thus a margin of error cannot be accurately estimated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Meredith Amoroso at

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Meredith Amoroso

Meredith Amoroso

Philips Global Press Office

Tel: +1 724-584-8991

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