People overestimate how much they sleep

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 5, 2007

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Patients may not sleep as long as they think they do, according to a study in the Oct. 15 Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Researchers analyzed data on 2,113 participants in the Sleep Heart Health Study who underwent polysomnography. Patients claimed they habitually slept on average just more than seven hours and estimated they were asleep for six hours and 19 minutes while undergoing sleep assessment. The test revealed, however, that they were truly asleep for six hours and three minutes.

The paper also found that participants overestimated how long it took them to fall asleep. Obese people and those with more education reported less sleep than others.

The authors suggest that subjective assessments of sleep may not be reliable.

"Self-reported total sleep times and sleep latencies are overestimated even on the morning following overnight [polysomnography]," the authors wrote.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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