We aimed to provide objectively measured sleep parameters across lifespan by sex and race in a national representative sample of US population. The study included 11,279 participants 6 years and older from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011–2014, who had at least 3 days of valid sleep parameters calculated from 7-day 24-h accelerometer recording. Sleep duration showed a U-shaped association with age and reached the minimum at age 40 and started to increase again around age 50. The clock time for sleep onset (CTSO) delayed with age and reached the maximum at about age 20. CTSO then advanced until age 50, leveled off until age 70, then advanced again after age 70. Sleep efficiency showed an overall decreasing trend across the lifespan but stabilized from age 30 to about age 60. US young adults in age 20 s are the ones who slept at the latest around midnight, while the middle aged US residents between 40 and 50 years old slept the least. Females generally present longer sleep duration than males, while more likely to have later sleep onset, particularly at older ages. Non-Hispanic Blacks showed worse sleep characteristics, i.e. sleep later, sleep shorter, and sleep less efficiently, compared to other racial groups. In conclusion, this study provides valuable insights on the characteristics of sleep habits of residents of the United States by using objectively measurements of sleep parameters and will help guide personalized advice on sleep hygiene.
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