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Biol Psychiatry. 2000 May 15;47(10):921-7.

Sleep duration, illumination, and activity patterns in a population sample: effects of gender and ethnicity.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California 92093-0667, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Current knowledge of the population's sleep durations emanates primarily from questionnaires and laboratory studies. Using Actillumes, we investigated whether self-reported sleep durations were indicative of a population decline in sleep duration. We also explored illumination and activity patterns.

METHODS:

San Diego adults (n = 273, age range: 40-64) were recruited through random telephone calls and were monitored at home while engaging in usual daily routines.

RESULTS:

Volunteers slept an average of 6.22 hours and received an average of 554 lux (environmental illumination). The timing of sleep, illumination, and activity occurred at 2:44, 12:57, and 13:43, respectively. Irrespective of ethnicity, age, and time reference, men received greater illumination than did women, but this gender effect was not independent of work status. Women and men exhibited a similar circadian activity profile; however, women exhibited better sleep-wake patterns. Interactions between gender and ethnicity suggested worse sleep-wake patterns among minority men. An age-related decline in activity was found, but no age trend in sleep duration or illumination patterns was observed.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study showed an objective population decline in sleep duration. Sociodemographic effects should be considered in analyses of sleep-wake patterns and illumination exposures.

PMID:
10807965
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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