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This article provides recent estimates of the duration and quality of sleep of Canadian adults and of the percentage who adhere to sleep duration guidelines (7 to 9 hours per night at ages 18 to 64, and 7 to 8 hours per night at age 65 or older). The study is based on 10,976 respondents aged 18 to 79 from the 2007-to-2013 Canadian Health Measures Survey, a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey. Sleep duration and quality were self-reported. Mean sleep duration was 7.12 hours per night at ages 18 to 64 and 7.24 hours per night at ages 65 to 79. An estimated 65% of 18- to 64-year-olds and 54% of seniors slept the recommended number of hours per night. However, short sleep duration and poor sleep quality were relatively common. About a third slept fewer hours than recommended. At ages 18 to 64, an estimated 43% of men and 55% of women reported trouble going to sleep or staying asleep “sometimes/most of the time/all of the time”; the corresponding percentages at ages 65 to 79 were 40% and 59%.


Insomnia, sleeplessness, prevalence, surveillance, population health


Insufficient sleep (short duration and poor quality) is associated with a range of adverse health outcomes, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, injuries, all-cause mortality, depression, irritability, and reduced well-being. In today’s 24/7 world, insufficient sleep is common. The factors that may be associated with insufficient sleep include exposure to artificial light at night, caffeine consumption, work demands, social commitments, and family dynamics (for example, working mothers and children with full agendas). Sleep often receives relatively little attention as a component of a healthy lifestyle, and health care professionals and policy-makers tend not to regard it as a public health concern. [Full Text]


Jean-Philippe Chaput (jpchaput@cheo.on.ca) is with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario. Suzy L. Wong is with the Health Analysis Division and Isabelle Michaud is with the Data Analysis Resource Centre at Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

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