Women sleep better than men
Across almost all age groups, women appear to have longer sleep duration and better sleep quality than men, according to a recent study.
“In this study, we analyse big data from users of a popular sleep tracker to illuminate trends in sleep on this platform over 4 years and over 2 million nights,” said the researchers.
The wearable sleep tracker device returned a total of 2,161,067 nights, of which 53.57 percent was contributed by men. This reflected the overall sex breakdown of the sample (n=160,963; mean age, 31.0±10.62 years; 54.75 percent male). Adults aged 26–64 years made up majority of the participants and accounted for 60.07 percent of the nights recorded. [J Med Internet Res 2020;22:e14735]
The sleep average sleep duration was 7.1±1.4 hours per night, with a mean sleep quality of 72.3±14.2 points. Quality was measured by an in-app scale, using factors such as time in bed, deep sleep time and sleep consistency. Scores ranged from 0–100, with higher values indicating better quality.
Women slept for a mean duration of 7.3±1.4 hours per night, outlasting men, who recorded a mean nightly sleep length of 7.0±1.3 hours. Sleep quality was likewise better in women (73.4±14.1 vs 71.3±14.2 points).
In terms of age group, researchers found than teenagers met sleep recommendations, set by the National Sleep Foundation, on only 26.23 percent of the nights. Young adults aged 18–25 years were even worse, satisfying sleep guidelines on only 24.61 percent of the nights. Elderly adults aged 65–84 years met such standards on 33.91 percent of nights.
Notably, adults aged 26–64 years performed well and were able to sleep for the recommended number of hours per night on 51.91 percent of the nights.
Good sleep quality, defined as scoring at or above 85 points on the in-app scale, was reported in 21.56 percent, 19.00 percent, 19.26 percent and 23.81 percent of teenagers, young adults, adults and older adults, respectively.
Graphical matrix representations of sleep duration across a lifespan showed that nightly sleep was shortest among teenagers, rising gradually until around 20 years of age. At this point, sleep duration plateaued at around 7.2 hours per night until the age of 35 years, after which it dipped slightly until age 40 years. Beyond this point, sleep duration continued to increase steadily until old age.
“Future research may consider the role of sleep tracking for improving motivation to adhere to recommended sleep routines, such as consistent bedtime schedules,” the researchers said, pointing out that there is also a need to determine their effects on health.
“For instance, although we know sleep tracking is increasingly common, we know less about the effects of its exposure, the duration of adherence to the devices, and how helpful (or perhaps harmful) output regarding sleep may be for individuals, particularly those suffering from disorders, such as insomnia or sleep apnoea,” they added.