Age, Geographical Location and Gender All Found to Impact Sleep Patternsadmin
An extensive worldwide study on sleep out of the University of Helsinki has found that sleep patterns vary in the duration and timing of sleep based on the age, geographical region and gender of the subjects.
“It was interesting to find that the circadian rhythm shifts later even in people over 20 years of age. It was already previously known that sleep timing is delayed in adolescence. What was clearly highlighted in this study is how long into adulthood this actually carries on,” Liisa Kuula, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki said.
The study, published in the Sleep Medicine, examined the sleeping habits of more than 17,000 adolescents and young adults for two weeks. Study participants wore Polar Electro monitoring devices.
“We gained an exceptionally diverse and extensive dataset which provides important basic knowledge on sleep among different age groups across the globe,” Kuula said. “Validated consumer devices may hold the potential for investigations more comprehensive than those conducted with conventional data collection methods.”
The study ultimately found that people in Europe and North America slept the longest, while those in Asian countries slept for the shortest amounts of time. Sleep was timed the latest in the Middle East and earliest in Oceania. Young women slept more than young men and also went to sleep earlier.
“Geographical differences were relatively small but similar to those seen in prior, smaller-scale studies. The need for sleep does not vary greatly between cultures, but differences arise in terms of the time reserved for sleeping,” Kuula said.