Comparison between an African town and a neighbouring village shows delayed, but not decreased, sleep during the early stages of urbanisation

A.D. Beale, M. Pedrazzoli, B.D.S.B. Gonçalves, F. Beijamini, N.E. Duarte, K.J. Egan, K.L. Knutson, M.V. Schantz, L.C. Roden

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Abstract

The well-established negative health outcomes of sleep deprivation, and the suggestion that availability of electricity may enable later bed times without compensating sleep extension in the morning, have stimulated interest in studying communities whose sleep pattern may resemble a pre-industrial state. Here, we describe sleep and activity in two neighbouring communities, one urban (Milange) and one rural (Tengua), in a region of Mozambique where urbanisation is an ongoing process. The two communities differ in the amount and timing of daily activity and of light exposure, with later bedtimes (≈1 h) associated with more evening and less daytime light exposure seen in the town of Milange. In contrast to previous reports comparing communities with and without electricity, sleep duration did not differ between Milange (7.28 h) and Tengua (7.23 h). Notably, calculated sleep quality was significantly poorer in rural Tengua than in Milange, and poor sleep quality was associated with a number of attributes more characteristic of rural areas, including more intense physical labour and less comfortable sleeping arrangements. Thus, whilst our data support the hypothesis that access to electricity delays sleep timing, the higher sleep quality in the urban population also suggests that some aspects of industrialisation are beneficial to sleep.
Original languageEnglish
Article number 5697
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Urbanization
Sleep
Electricity
Mozambique
Light
Sleep Deprivation
Urban Population
Health

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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this
article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Comparison between an African town and a neighbouring village shows delayed, but not decreased, sleep during the early stages of urbanisation. / Beale, A.D.; Pedrazzoli, M.; Gonçalves, B.D.S.B.; Beijamini, F.; Duarte, N.E.; Egan, K.J.; Knutson, K.L.; Schantz, M.V.; Roden, L.C.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, 5697, 18.07.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Beale, A.D. ; Pedrazzoli, M. ; Gonçalves, B.D.S.B. ; Beijamini, F. ; Duarte, N.E. ; Egan, K.J. ; Knutson, K.L. ; Schantz, M.V. ; Roden, L.C. / Comparison between an African town and a neighbouring village shows delayed, but not decreased, sleep during the early stages of urbanisation. In: Scientific Reports. 2017 ; Vol. 7.
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