397 Sleep Trends


Research by Sheehan, Connor M., Frochen, S. E., Walsemann, K. M., & Ailshire, J. A. (2019).

Written by Shannon Cantalupo, B.S.

Lack of sleep is an important National Health concern.  What factors likely contribute to our getting inadequate sleep, despite evidence that good sleep hygiene has numerous physical and psychological benefits?   

Researchers used the National Health Interview Survey 2004-2017 data to assess self-reported sleep duration in this longitudinal study which included almost 400,000 participants. Researchers assessed average sleep duration and personal factor trends. Sleep duration was measured: as short (less than six hours), adequate (seven to eight hours) or long (more than nine hours). 

Results? Sleep was stable from 2004-2012. But from 2013-2017, perhaps because of economic downturn and technology there was an increase in individuals reporting short sleep. Yet, these reports of changes (by 10%) were for Hispanic and African Americans but not for Non-Hispanic whites. Inadequate sleep may lead to poor health and add stress, and thus create less tolerance, impact work performance, and exacerbate racial and ethnic trends and tensions. 

Adequate sleep is essential for our health. Reduce blue-light, put away all electronics 1 hour before sleeping. And avoid eating just before going to sleep. Use these keys to help increase adequate sleep!


Sheehan, C. M., Frochen, S. E., Walsemann, K. M., & Ailshire, J. A. (2019). Are U.S. adults reporting less sleep?: Findings from sleep duration trends in the national health interview survey, 2004-2017. Sleep Journal, 1-8.


About Author

Adele Hall is the administrative assistant for the School of Psychology in charge of uploading the Psychology Science minutes. The authors of the minutes are listed in the written portion. The Psychology Science Minutes are coordinated by Juanita N. Baker, Ph.D., faculty emerita, and reviewed by former Dean Mary Beth Kenkel, faculty emerita.

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