Live Webinar

SYMPOSIUM 1: Sleep, emotions and mood disorders during the COVID 19 Pandemic across Countries and Populations

Event Details

SYMPOSIUM 1: Sleep, emotions and mood disorders during the COVID 19 Pandemic across Countries and Populations

CHAIRPERSON: Dr. Veronica Guadagni


Dr. Veronica Guadagni, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada

Title: Sleep, Emotions and Mental Health during the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Dr. Anna L. Mackinnon, Faculty of Arts, Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Canada

Title: Sleeping for Two: Preliminary RCT findings of CBT for Insomnia during Pregnancy.

Claire Donnici, Neuroscience Program; University of Calgary, Canada

Title: Links between prenatal distress, infant brain structure and function, and infant sleep patterns.

Dr. Rodolfo Rossi, Department of Systems Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata

Title: Sleep disturbances and stress-related disorders in healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy.

Dr. Tony Cunningham, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston College, Boston, USA

Title: The global impact of COVID19 and social distancing on sleep, stress, and mood.

DESCRIPTION: This symposium will bring together a group of speakers who will report on recent data collected in North America, Italy, and from around the globe analyzing changes in subjective sleep quality, symptoms of insomnia, mood and emotional processes in different populations. The first speaker (Dr. Guadagni) will focus on the relationship between poor quality of sleep and empathic responses during the pandemic. The role of depression and anxiety symptoms will be considered as well as sex and gender. The second speaker (Dr. Mackinnon) will focus on pregnant women, a population that is particularly vulnerable to sleep problems and mood disorders. While these issues were heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic, preliminary results show a CBT intervention improves insomnia. The third speaker (Claire Donnici) will focus on how prenatal distress will impact infant brain structure and function and infant sleep patterns. Next, Dr. Rossi will focus on insomnia, anxiety and psychiatric symptoms in a sample of Italian Health Care workers. Finally, the last speaker (Dr. Cunningham) will discuss the global impact of the pandemic on sleep, stress, and mood as recorded by daily survey assessments across a 2-month period as both the threat of COVID-19 and isolation response measures increased.


After active engagement in this session, participants will better be able to :

  1. Describe the negative effects of sleep loss due to natural disasters and isolation in general, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic in particular, on various aspects of emotional processing and mental health;
  2. Assess the role of biological sex, gender and ethnicity;
  3. Explore therapeutic interventions targeting sleep in vulnerable populations such as pregnant women.


Veronica Guadagni

University of Calgary

The central theme of Dr. Guadagni’s research focuses on investigating the effects of sleep,... More