The Week in Sleep News: November 10, 2023

A new study shows that sleeping consistently may matter more when trying to get to better sleep instead of sleep duration.

Two people sitting up in bed reading newspapers. Text reads: Sleep News, Week of November 10, 2023

This week in sleep news …

Consistent sleep may matter more than duration

We all know that the CDC recommendation for the sweet spot of sleep length is seven to nine hours, but new research published in Sleep says going to bed and waking up at the same time is more important than the amount of sleep you get if it’s on an irregular schedule. Researchers found that better sleep regularity was associated with significantly lower risk for mortality — those with the most consistent sleep schedule had a 30% lower risk for mortality and a 38% lower cardiometabolic mortality risk. Researchers also found that while sleep duration also played a factor in mortality risk, sleep consistency was a stronger predictor for mortality, especially in cause-specific circumstances.

What America’s sleep habits look like in 2023

U.S. News & World Report released their findings from their 2023 Sleep Habits, Preferences Consumer Survey, which looked at the responses of 1,200 people. Similar to 2022, in 2023 current events kept Americans up at night. In both years, factors cited as causes for bedtime worries include the rise in costs of living, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, gun violence, and climate change. However, this year, the 2024 presidential election also made its way onto the list. Self-reported bad sleep habits included going to bed at different times each night, having screen time in bed, eating too much before bed, falling asleep with the television on, and pulling all-nighters.

Alcohol and caffeine together may promote better sleep

While alcohol and caffeine both negatively impact sleep, combined they may negate each other’s effects, according to a new study. The study, which was published in PLOS ONE, found that, on average, caffeine consumption resulted in a 10-minute reduction in sleep per cup consumed the previous day, and alcohol intake led to a 4% decline in sleep quality per drink the day before. However, when the two were combined, they counteracted each other. But don’t rush out to get your espresso martinis yet: Researchers are emphasizing moderation in both substances and stress that further research is needed for a comprehensive understanding.

In social media news …

Part of getting good sleep while away from home is sticking to your routine, and that includes saying good night to pets.

A cartoon of a man in a hotel room. Text reads: "Yes, yes, yes, I miss you, too, honey. Now put the dog on."
Instagram // @NewYorkerCartoons