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: Studies find new links between sleep duration and depression

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

Children born in the summer more likely to be healthy adults

October 12, 2015

Women who were born in the summer are more likely to be healthy adults, suggests new research published in the journal Heliyon. The authors of the study, which involved almost half a million people in the UK, say more sunlight ...

Mobile app records our erratic eating habits

September 24, 2015

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner? For too many of us, the three meals of the day go more like: office meeting pastry, mid-afternoon energy drink, and midnight pizza. In Cell Metabolism on September 24, Salk Institute scientists ...


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.