Are we getting enough sleep? Frequent irregular sleep found in an analysis of over 11 million nights of objective in-home sleep data

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Abstract

Objectives
Evidence-based guidelines recommend that adults should sleep 7-9 h/night for optimal health and function. This study used noninvasive, multinight, objective sleep monitoring to determine average sleep duration and sleep duration variability in a large global community sample, and how often participants met the recommended sleep duration range.

Methods
Data were analyzed from registered users of the Withings under-mattress Sleep Analyzer (predominantly located in Europe and North America) who had ≥28 nights of sleep recordings, averaging ≥4 per week. Sleep durations (the average and standard deviation) were assessed across a ∼9-month period. Associations between age groups, sex, and sleep duration were assessed using linear and logistic regressions, and proportions of participants within (7-9 hours) or outside (<7 hours or >9 hours) the recommended sleep duration range were calculated.

Results
The sample consisted of 67,254 adults (52,523 males, 14,731 females; aged mean ± SD 50 ± 12 years). About 30% of adults demonstrated an average sleep duration outside the recommended 7-9 h/night. Even in participants with an average sleep duration within 7-9 hours, about 40% of nights were outside this range. Only 15% of participants slept between 7 and 9 hours for at least 5 nights per week. Female participants had significantly longer sleep durations than male participants, and middle-aged participants had shorter sleep durations than younger or older participants.

Conclusions
These findings indicate that a considerable proportion of adults are not regularly sleeping the recommended 7-9 h/night. Even among those who do, irregular sleep is prevalent. These novel data raise several important questions regarding sleep requirements and the need for improved sleep health policy and advocacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalSleep Health
Volume10
Issue number1
Early online date9 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Big data
  • Aging
  • Sex
  • Sleep technology
  • Sleep health

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