Preliminary results from the SNAPSHOT study, an NIH-funded collaborative research project between the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and MIT Media Lab Affective Computing Group, suggest that keeping a regular sleep pattern contributes to the happiness and well-being of college students.
Results show that higher sleep regularity was significantly related to higher morning and evening happiness, healthiness, and calmness during the week. Transitioning from an irregular weekly sleep pattern to a regular pattern also was associated with improved well-being, both during the week of regular sleep and on the day following it.
“We found that week-long irregular sleep schedules are significantly associated with lower self-reported morning and evening happiness, healthiness, and calmness during the week even after controlling for weekly average sleep duration,” says lead author Akane Sano, PhD, research scientist in the Media Lab Affective Computing Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, in a release.
The analysis involved 204 college students between the ages of 18 and 25 years who participated in a 30-day field study. Sleep timing and duration were monitored using actigraphy, along with daily morning and evening Internet-based diaries. Self-reports of well-being (happiness, healthiness, and calmness) were collected using daily diaries.
“Irregular sleep-wake schedules are common in our modern society,” says Sano. “Our results indicate the importance of sleep regularity, in addition to sleep duration, and that regular sleep is associated with improved well-being.”
According to the authors, this study underlines the necessity of considering sleep regularity as an important factor for understanding self-reported well-being.
The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep (abstract #0182) and presented Monday, June 5, in Boston at SLEEP 2017.