The importance of sleep regularity: a consensus statement of the National Sleep Foundation sleep timing and variability panel.
Sletten TL., Weaver MD., Foster RG., Gozal D., Klerman EB., Rajaratnam SMW., Roenneberg T., Takahashi JS., Turek FW., Vitiello MV., Young MW., Czeisler CA.
OBJECTIVE: To develop and present consensus findings of the National Sleep Foundation sleep timing and variability panel regarding the impact of sleep timing variability on health and performance. METHODS: The National Sleep Foundation assembled a panel of sleep and circadian experts to evaluate the scientific evidence and conduct a formal consensus and voting procedure. A systematic literature review was conducted using the NIH National Library of Medicine PubMed database, and panelists voted on the appropriateness of 3 questions using a modified Delphi RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method with 2 rounds of voting. RESULTS: The literature search and panel review identified 63 full text publications to inform consensus voting. Panelists achieved consensus on each question: (1) is daily regularity in sleep timing important for (a) health or (b) performance? and (2) when sleep is of insufficient duration during the week (or work days), is catch-up sleep on weekends (or non-work days) important for health? Based on the evidence currently available, panelists agreed to an affirmative response to all 3 questions. CONCLUSIONS: Consistency of sleep onset and offset timing is important for health, safety, and performance. Nonetheless, when insufficient sleep is obtained during the week/work days, weekend/non-work day catch-up sleep may be beneficial.