Twin study links community socioeconomic deprivation to sleep duration

July 2, 2014

A new study of adult twins suggests that the level of socioeconomic deprivation in a neighborhood is associated with the sleep duration of residents.

Results show that increased was significantly associated with decreased sleep duration across all twins. Further analysis within twin pairs found that this association remained significant after accounting for genetics and shared family environment, indicating a robust relationship.

"These results are a starting point for discussing the impact that neighborhood-level factors have on sleep duration," said principal investigator Dr. Nathaniel Watson, president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and professor of neurology at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he is co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center and director of the Harborview Medical Center Sleep Clinic. "If we improve upon , we may have an opportunity to improve upon habits that influence how long people sleep."

The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and was presented in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at SLEEP 2014, the 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

The study group comprised 2,202 - 1,268 monozygotic pairs and 934 dizygotic pairs - from the University of Washington Twin Registry. The mean age of study subjects was 37 years, and 62.1 percent were female. Mean self-reported nightly sleep duration was 7.4 hours.

Community socioeconomic deprivation was measured using the Singh Index (SI), a composite, area-level measure. The index combines 17 indicators measuring factors such as poverty, income, education and housing.

Watson's research team also found an intriguing gene by environment interaction. As socioeconomic deprivation increased, the total genetic and non-shared environmental variability of sleep duration also went up.

"The more socioeconomically deprived the neighborhood, the more erratic the , both shorter and longer than the healthy seven to nine hours per night that we recommend," he said.

Explore further: Extended or shortened sleep duration linked to weight gain

More information: Sleep Duration and Social Deprivation in Twins, Sleep, 2014.

Related Stories

Sleep deprivation found to trigger initial seizure 

May 16, 2014

Neurologists studying WA's first-ever seizure database have established that sleep deprivation is more likely to act as a trigger for people having seizures, rather than a provoked cause of epilepsy.

Recommended for you

Bacteria in smokeless tobacco products may be a health concern

August 26, 2016

Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published August 26 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American ...

Is tailgating toxic?

August 26, 2016

While tailgating this football season you may want to take a step back from the grill and generator—for your health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.