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Keywords:

  • chronic sleep deprivation;
  • daytime somnolence;
  • morningness/eveningness;
  • sleep hygiene;
  • sleep need;
  • sleep/wake habits

Summary

The purpose of this study was to determine, in a large sample of adults of all ages (17–80 years), the effect of morningness/eveningness on sleep/wake schedules, sleep needs, sleep hygiene and subjective daytime somnolence. A total of 617 subjects (219 subjects per chronotype group) matched for age, sex and employment status, completed an abridged morningness/eveningness questionnaire, a questionnaire on sleep habits and the quality of sleep, and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Eveningness was associated with a greater need for sleep, less time in bed during the week compared to ideal sleep needs, more time in bed at the weekend, a later bedtime and waking-up time especially at the weekend, more irregular sleep/wake habits and greater caffeine consumption. These subjects built up a sleep debt during the week and extended their duration of sleep at the weekend. They did not, however, rate themselves more sleepy than other types, despite the fact that our results showed a clear link between subjectively evaluated daytime somnolence and sleep debt. Why they were less affected by sleep deprivation is not clear. This raises the question of individual susceptibility to the modification of sleep parameters.