EARLY TO BED AND EARLY TO RISE MAKES A PERSON HEALTHY: RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SLEEP PATTERNS AND PHYSICAL HEALTH

Open Access
Author:
Dmitrieva, Natalia O.
Graduate Program:
Human Development and Family Studies
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 20, 2008
Committee Members:
  • David Manuel Almeida, Dissertation Advisor
  • David Manuel Almeida, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • sleep
  • sleep patterns
  • physical health
  • daily health
  • diurnal cortisol
  • endocrine health
  • cluster analysis
  • hierarchical regression analysis
Abstract:
Chronic lack of sleep and sleep disorders are becoming increasingly more prevalent in the United States, and evidence suggests that severe lack of sleep is detrimental to the functioning of individuals and society. This study uses an ecologically-valid daily diary protocol to investigate the interactive effects of sleep duration, wake-up time, and night-to-night sleep variability on physical health, operationalized as global self-rated health, daily health symptoms, and a biomarker of health (daily profile of the hormone cortisol). Variable-oriented and person-oriented methodologies – hierarchical regression analyses and hierarchical cluster analyses – were employed to explore the research questions. Both methods provided consistent findings, underscoring the importance of the moderating influence of wake-up time and sleep variability on the relationship between sleep duration and health. Results suggest that participants receiving longer sleep, characterized by early wake-up time and consistent night-to-night sleep schedule, demonstrate the best health outcomes. Findings illustrate that sleep is a complex phenomenon, and that the amount of sleep one receives per night is important for physical health only when coupled with additional sleep-related factors.