What Is “Chronic” in “Chronic Sleep Reduction” and What Are Its Consequences? A Systematic Scoping Review of the Literature

E. J. De Bruin*, J. F. Dewald-Kaufmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose of Review: In this scoping review, we aimed to (1) provide an overview of chronic sleep reduction by systematically reviewing the existing literature (limited to systematic reviews and meta-analyses), (2) investigate the evidence of the effects of short sleep duration on daytime functioning, and (3) identify research gaps in this field. Recent Findings: The results showed that (1) clear definitions of chronicity of sleep reduction are lacking—none of the included reviews/meta-analyses provided a full definition—and (2) short sleep duration appeared to be related to obesity and diabetes, whereas relations with cardiovascular disease (CVD), cognitive functioning, emotional problems, general health, and mortality, showed either small effects and appeared to be complex (e.g., for CVD and cognitive functioning), or studies were scarce or completely lacking (e.g., mortality in children/adolescents and emotional problems in adults). Summary: Although short or insufficient sleep is highly prevalent and is associated with impaired mental and physical wellbeing, as well as pervasive negative consequences for daytime functioning, the concepts of “chronicity” and “chronic sleep reduction” have not been clearly defined and its effects on health are therefore still largely unknown. Moreover, there are large research gaps concerning studies on the relations between short sleep and health consequences. Further studies are recommended to define and operationalize chronicity of sleep reduction and develop measurements that adequately represent the complexity of the concept.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-154
Number of pages26
JournalCurrent Sleep Medicine Reports
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Daytime consequences
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sleep problems
  • Sleep reduction
  • UT-Hybrid-D

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