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Scientists find when in life people are most likely to sleep the least

Original Article By: Vishwam Sankaran

Summarized By: Neurobit

A recent study published in the journal Nature Communications has found that people tend to sleep less during mid-adulthood compared to early and late adulthood. The study, conducted by scientists from the University of Lyon in France and other institutions, analyzed data from 730,187 participants from 63 countries. It aimed to understand the changes in sleep patterns throughout the human lifespan and how they vary across different countries.

The participants were surveyed while playing the citizen science game "Sea Hero Quest," which was designed for neuroscience research. The data showed that the participants slept an average of seven hours per night, with women sleeping 7.5 minutes more than men on average. The youngest participants in the sample, who were at least 19 years old, slept the most. The study found that sleep duration decreases in early adulthood until age 33, plateaus until age 53, and increases again after that.

The decline in sleep during mid-life is believed to be due to the demands of child care and working life. The study also noted that sleep duration varies between regions and countries, with people in the UK and countries closer to the equator sleeping slightly less than the average, while participants from Eastern European countries slept 20-40 minutes longer per night. Interestingly, the researchers mentioned that these patterns are consistent across cultural, gender, educational, and other demographic differences. These findings provide great insight into how sleep duration changes with age across different countries.


Sankaran, V. (2023, February 6). Study finds when in life people are most likely to sleep least. The Independent. Retrieved February 7, 2023, from

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