People Get Less Sleep From Their 30s to Their 50s

Medscape Staff

February 24, 2023

People sleep less during mid-adulthood than they do during early and late adulthood, according to findings by researchers from the University College London, the University of East Anglia, and the University of Lyon.

What to Know

  • Sleep patterns change across people's life spans. The amount of sleep declines in early adulthood until age 33, and then picks up again at age 53.

  • Evidence shows that people generally sleep an average of 7.01 hours per night. Women slept 7.5 minutes longer than men on average; those aged 19 slept the most.

  • Sleep duration declined among men and women in their 20s and early 30s, irrespective of country and education level. It plateaued in their early 50s, then again increased. The pattern may be due to demands of child care and work during those periods of life.

  • People tended to sleep a bit less in countries closer to the equator. Those who sleep most live in Eastern European countries.

  • The study was based on information gathered from participants who were playing the Sea Hero Quest mobile game.

This is a summary of the article, "Reported Sleep Duration Reveals Segmentation of the Adult Life-Course Into Three Phases," published in Nature Communications on December 13, 2022. The full article can be found on

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