Leveraging The National Sleep Research Resource to Enhance Understanding of Sleep Health Across Populations

2022 Focused Projects Grant for Junior Investigators

Joon Chung, PhD
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Key Project Outcomes

Key project outcome 1: We found that objectively irregular sleep tends to co-occur with objectively less duration of sleep, and conversely that those who tended to obtain regular sleep also tended to obtain optimal sleep duration. We operationalized sleep metric co-occurrence patterns by cluster analysis, which in our data, identified two sub-groups: an irregular-insufficient sub-group who obtained less sleep with greater irregularity, and a ‘regular-optimal’ group which tended to obtain optimal amounts of sleep with high regularity. This metric of sleep regularity – of sleep health – was largely independent of sleep disorders.

Key project outcome 2: We analyzed the composite contrast of regular sleep schedules vs irregular sleep schedules: who lived longer? The ‘regular-optimal’ group had ~40% lower mortality hazard compared to the ‘irregular-insufficient’ group. Thus, if ‘sleep’ were an 8-hour pill, it would be beneficial to take the full dose of sleep, at regular times, consistently, as there is evidence that doing so is associated with more favorable health and, potentially, greater longevity.

Journal Article


Objectively Regular Sleep Patterns and Mortality in a Prospective Cohort: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Media Article


Regular, Optimal Sleep Tied to Lower Mortality Risk