The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults, released in October 2020, recommend 7 to 9 hours of good-quality sleep for adults aged 18 to 64 and
7 to 8 hours for adults aged 65 and older, on a regular basis, with consistent sleep and wake times for health benefits. This study assesses the sleep behaviours
of Canadian adults and how these behaviours align with the recommendations.
Data and methods
This cross-sectional study uses nationally representative data from the 2020 Canadian Community Health Survey healthy living rapid response module (N =
9,248), collected from January to March 2020. Sleep behaviours were self-reported by respondents, and descriptive statistics were used to calculate means
or percentages for sleep duration, guideline adherence, physical activity and screen time, sleep timing, and sleep variability in the full sample. This was done
by age, sex, household education, household income adequacy and employment status.
Mean sleep duration was 7.9 hours for adults aged 18 to 64, with 77% meeting sleep duration recommendations, and 8.1 hours for adults aged 65 and older,
with 55% meeting sleep duration recommendations. Among adults aged 18 to 64, 61% reported high sleep quality, compared with 71% among adults aged 65
and older. High sleep variability (≥30-minute difference between work and free days) and poor sleep-facilitating behaviours were prevalent. Adults who reported
high sleep quality and high sleep variability were more likely to meet sleep duration recommendations.
To maximize health benefits, continued efforts are needed to promote good sleep behaviours among Canadian adults. Device-based measures of sleep could
improve surveillance and research.
Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute