Recently, the economist posted an article showing a U shape curve in life satisfaction as a function of age. This reminded me of a very similar curve we generate in my statistics class using the American Time Use Survey data. Except this U-bend is for sleep as a function of age.

U Bend, Economist 12/16/2010

sleep vs. age

Amount of sleep Americans get as a function of age

It’s hard to guess at causality, but if I had to choose I would say more sleep causes happiness, based on the school-time-shift results mentioned in Nurture Shock, where kids who got to go to school 1 hour later reported less depression.  Also, the economist article mentions that happier people are less likely to get sick. It could be that sleep is contributing to both: happiness and health.

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