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Reported sleep duration reveals segmentation of the adult life-course into three phases

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  • A. Coutrot
  • A. S. Lazar
  • M. Richards
  • E. Manley
  • J. M. Wiener
  • R. C. Dalton
  • M. Hornberger
  • H. J. Spiers
Article number7697
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>13/12/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Nature Communications
Issue number1
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Classically the human life-course is characterized by youth, middle age and old age. A wide range of biological, health and cognitive functions vary across this life-course. Here, using reported sleep duration from 730,187 participants across 63 countries, we find three distinct phases in the adult human life-course: early adulthood (19-33yrs), mid-adulthood (34-53yrs), and late adulthood (54+yrs). They appear stable across culture, gender, education and other demographics. During the third phase, where self-reported sleep duration increases with age, cognitive performance, as measured by spatial navigation, was found to have an inverted u-shape relationship with reported sleep duration: optimal performance peaks at 7 hours reported sleep. World-wide self-reported sleep duration patterns are geographically clustered, and are associated with economy, culture, and latitude.