Friday Factoid: Sleep Is Not What It Used To Be: Change in Sleep Trends

Analyzing the data of 398 participants aged 18 to 84, Americans reported getting less sleep than they were 15 years ago (Sheehand, Frochen, Walsemann & Ailshire, 2019). Sleep was categorized into three separate groups:  ≤6 hours (short sleep), 7-8 (adequate sleep), and ≥9 hours. Results showed that sleep patterns were relatively steady for short-term sleep from 2004 to 2012 and steadily declined beginning in 2013. Those individuals who were sleeping less then 6 hours were mainly Hispanic and non-Hispanic black. Across the study period, sleeping less than 6 hours increased by 7 points for Hispanic individuals and 6.5 percentage points among black respondents. Those with the lowest reduction in sleep were white respondents who only had a 2-point increase. Reduction in sleep has been shown to be connected with adverse health effects. The widening gap among white and non-white populations may have consequences for racial and ethnic health disparities.

Sheehan, C. M., Frochen, S. E., Walsemann, K. M., & Ailshire, J.A.  (2019). Are U.S. adults reporting less sleep?: Findings from sleep duration trends in the national health interview survey, 2004-2017. Sleep, 42 (2)

Andrew Goebel, MS, LPA (Temp)
WKPIC Doctoral Intern

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