Investigation of the Relationship of Sleep/Rest to Different Diseases

Document Type


Lead Author Type

MBI Masters Student


Dr. Guenter Tusch, tuschg@gvsu.edu

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Background: The emergence of devices, gadgets and applications is a popular trend of today’s technology focused society. Those devices not only monitor the hours of sleep of their owners, but also display the quality of sleep. Various industries are competing to come up with more features to make the devices unique and more advanced in terms of technology. However, the main concern behind the development of such gadgets and devices is insufficient sleep and increasing diseases associated with it.

Insufficient rest/sleep and sleep loss are characteristics of modern society. Studies show that nearly one third of adults report sleeping less than 7 hours (compared to 7-9 hours as the recommended sleep length according to the National Sleep Foundation). There can be many factors responsible to the sleep deprivation such as longer commuting time to workplace, introduction of electric light, different shifts and night work, expansion of industries and different sectors to 24 hours operation, internet, television, and people in America working on multiple jobs, financial concerns and the like.

This study is based on the question on insufficient rest or sleep introduced for the first time in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) by Center for Disease Control in year 2008, for all the 50 states and three US territories and expands on a previous study.

Method: The BRFSS 2008 survey data used for the study considers only subjects with over the age of twenty years with 60.47% women and 39.53 % men. The self-reported days of insufficient sleep per month were divided into four groups: zero, 1–13, 14–29, and 30 days. There were four outcomes considered: 1) any CVD, 2) coronary heart disease (CHD), 3) stroke, and 4) diabetes mellitus. I used multivariable logistic regression to calculate odds ratio (OR), (95% confidence interval (CI), considering zero days of insufficient rest/ sleep as the referent category.

Conclusion and findings: All four diseases were found to be associated with insufficient sleep or rest. The Odd’s Ratio (95% CI) corresponding to all 30 days of insufficient sleep was 1.98 (1.51–1.24) for any cardiovascular disease, 1.26 (1.21–1.31) for CHD, for stroke, 1.28 (1.22-1.34), and 1.18(1.52–1.22) for diabetes. Hence, in a multiethnic sample in USA, insufficient sleep was found to be associated independently with CHD, CVD, Diabetes and Stroke.

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