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Are US Adults Reporting Shorter Sleep Times?

Sleep; ePub 2018 Nov 17; Sheehan, et al

Recent increases in reports of short sleep among US adults are concerning as short sleep has been linked with a number of adverse health outcomes in the population, according to a recent study. Moreover, growing race/ethnic disparities in short sleep may have consequences for racial and ethnic health disparities. Researchers used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for US non-institutionalized adults aged 18–84 from 2004 to 2017 (n=398,382). NHIS respondents were asked how much they slept in a 24-hour period on average, which was categorized as: ≤6 hours (short-sleep), 7–8 hours (adequate-sleep), and ≥9 hours (long-sleep). Researchers used multinomial logistic regression models to examine trends in self-reported sleep duration and assess race/ethnic differences in these trends. They found:

  • The prevalence of short sleep duration was relatively stable from 2004–2012.
  • However, results from multinomial logistic regression models indicated there was an increasing trend toward short sleep beginning in 2013 that continued through 2017.
  • This trend was significantly more pronounced among Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks, which resulted in widening racial/ethnic differences in reports of short sleep.


Sheehan CM, Frochen SE, Walsemann KM, Ailshire JA. Are U.S. adults reporting less sleep?: Findings from sleep duration trends in the National Health Interview Survey, 2004–2017. [Published online ahead of print November 17, 2018]. Sleep. doi:10.1093/sleep/zsy221.

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