Dubious bargain: trading sleep for Leno and Letterman.

Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021, USA.
Sleep (Impact Factor: 5.06). 06/2009; 32(6):747-52.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Sleeping less than 7 hours daily impairs alertness and is associated with increased obesity, morbidity, and mortality; yet up to 40% of US adults do so. Population data indicate work time is the primary activity reciprocally related to sleep time in the United States. Reducing work time and its economic benefits to increase sleep time may not be feasible for most of the population. We sought to identify waking activities under discretionary control and adjacent to the sleep period that would be a more feasible source for increasing sleep time.
American Time Use Survey data from 21,475 respondents aged > or = 15 years were pooled for the years 2003-2006 to explore activities in 2-hour periods prior to going to bed and past getting up on weekdays.
Long workers (> or = 8 hours) terminated bed time an average of 0.68 h earlier than short workers (< 8 hours, P < 0.0001) and 1.31 h earlier than respondents not working on the interview day (P < 0.001), but time of going to bed did not differ among groups (22:37 vs. 22:42 vs. 22:37, respectively, P = 0.385). Watching television was the primary activity people engaged in before going to bed, accounting for 55.6 min (46.3%) of the 2-h pre-bed period. In the morning, travel time and work time increased steadily toward the end of the post-awakening 2-h period, accounting for 14.8% and 12.3%, respectively.
Watching television may be an important social Zeitgeber for the time of going to bed. Watching less television in the evening and postponing work start time in the morning appear to be the candidate behavioral changes for achieving additional sleep. While the timing of work may not be flexible, giving up some TV viewing in the evening should be possible to reduce chronic sleep debt and promote adequate sleep in those who need it.

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    ABSTRACT: There is increasing awareness of the role of sleep disturbance as an important factor in health and disease. Although sub-clinical sleep disturbances (insufficient sleep duration or inadequate sleep quality) may be difficult to assess with conceptual and/or methodological clarity, this review attempts to summarize and synthesize these findings. First, the concept of sleep disturbance in a public health context is introduced, to provide context and rationale. Second, operational definitions of ‘cardiometabolic disease’ and ‘sleep disturbance’ are offered, to address many unclear operationalizations. Third, the extant literature is summarized regarding short or long sleep duration and/or insufficient sleep, insomnia and insomnia symptoms, general (non-specific sleep disturbances), circadian rhythm abnormalities that result in sleep disturbances, and, briefly, sleep-disordered breathing. Fourth, the review highlights the social/behavioural context of sleep, including discussions of sleep and race/ethnicity, socio-economic position, and other social/environmental factors, in order to place these findings in a social-environmental context relevant to public health. Fifth, the review highlights the issue of sleep as a domain of health behaviour and addresses issues regarding development of healthy sleep interventions. Finally, a research agenda of future directions is proposed.
    International Review of Psychiatry 06/2014; 26(2). DOI:10.3109/09540261.2014.911148 · 1.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: People often sleep deprive themselves voluntarily for social and lifestyle reasons. Animals also appear to stay awake longer as a result of their natural curiosity to explore novel environments and interact socially with conspecifics. Although multiple arousal systems in the brain are known to act jointly to promote and maintain wakefulness, it remains unclear whether these systems are similarly engaged during voluntary vs. forced wakefulness. Using c-Fos immunohistochemistry, we compared neuronal responses in rats deprived of sleep for 2h by gentle sensory stimulation, exploration under social isolation, or exploration with social interaction, and rats under undisturbed control conditions. In many arousal, limbic, and autonomic nuclei examined (e.g., anterior cingulate cortex and locus coeruleus), the two sleep deprivation procedures involving exploration were similarly effective, and both were more effective than sleep deprivation with sensory stimulation, in increasing the number of c-Fos immunoreactive neurons. However, some nuclei (e.g., paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus and select amygdala nuclei) were more responsive to exploration with social interaction, while others (e.g., histaminergic tuberomammillary nucleus) responded more strongly to exploration in social isolation. In the rostral basal forebrain, cholinergic and GABAergic neurons responded preferentially to exploration with social interaction, whereas resident neurons in general responded most strongly to exploration without social interaction. These results indicate that voluntary exploration with/without social interaction is more effective than forced sleep deprivation with gentle sensory stimulation for inducing c-Fos in arousal and limbic/autonomic brain regions, and suggest that these nuclei participate in different aspects of arousal during sustained voluntary wakefulness.
    Behavioural brain research 08/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2013.08.029 · 3.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human sleep schedules vary widely across countries. We investigated whether these variations were related to differences in social factors, Morningness-Eveningness (ME) preference, or the natural light-dark cycle by contrasting the sleep duration and timing of young adults (age: 18-35 years) on work and free days in Singapore (n = 1898) and the UK (n = 837). On work days, people in Singapore had later bedtimes, but wake times were similar to the UK sample, resulting in shorter sleep duration. In contrast, sleep duration on free days did not differ between the two countries. Shorter sleep on work days, without compensatory extra long sleep hours on free days, suggest greater demands from work and study in Singapore. While the two samples differed slightly in ME preference, the associations between eveningness preference and greater extension in sleep duration as well as delays in sleep timing on free days were similar in the two countries. Thus, differences in ME preference did not account for the differences in sleep schedules between the two countries. The greater variability in the photoperiod in the UK was not associated with more prominent seasonal changes in sleep patterns compared to Singapore. Furthermore, in the UK, daylight saving time did not alter sleep schedules relative to clock time. Collectively, these findings suggest that differences in social demands, primarily from work or study, could account for the observed differences in sleep schedules between countries, and that in industrialized societies, social zeitgebers, which typically involve exposure to artificial light, are major determinants of sleep schedules.
    Frontiers in Neurology 05/2014; 5:81. DOI:10.3389/fneur.2014.00081


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