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Chronobiol Int. 2003 Jan;20(1):97-107.

The relationship between lifestyle regularity and subjective sleep quality.

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Clinical Neuroscience Research Center, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.
U Pittsburgh, PA


In previous work we have developed a diary instrument-the Social Rhythm Metric (SRM), which allows the assessment of lifestyle regularity-and a questionnaire instrument--the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), which allows the assessment of subjective sleep quality. The aim of the present study was to explore the relationship between lifestyle regularity and subjective sleep quality. Lifestyle regularity was assessed by both standard (SRM-17) and shortened (SRM-5) metrics; subjective sleep quality was assessed by the PSQI. We hypothesized that high lifestyle regularity would be conducive to better sleep. Both instruments were given to a sample of 100 healthy subjects who were studied as part of a variety of different experiments spanning a 9-yr time frame. Ages ranged from 19 to 49 yr (mean age: 31.2 yr, s.d.: 7.8 yr); there were 48 women and 52 men. SRM scores were derived from a two-week diary. The hypothesis was confirmed. There was a significant (rho = -0.4, p < 0.001) correlation between SRM (both metrics) and PSQI, indicating that subjects with higher levels of lifestyle regularity reported fewer sleep problems. This relationship was also supported by a categorical analysis, where the proportion of "poor sleepers" was doubled in the "irregular types" group as compared with the "non-irregular types" group. Thus, there appears to be an association between lifestyle regularity and good sleep, though the direction of causality remains to be tested.

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