Early to Work, Early to Rise? Gender Differences in the Relationship of Wake Time to Employment and Childcare Schedules Among Working-Age U.S. Adults

Jess Meyer , Northwestern University

Sleep duration predicts health and mortality, and, all else equal, people who wake up earlier sleep less. Prior studies have examined which activities help determine wake time, but little research has analyzed social variation in the relationship of wake time to these activities. Given gender differences in social expectations and sociodemographic characteristics surrounding work and family, the present study investigates whether the relationship of wake time to employment and childcare schedules differs by gender. Using data from the 2003-2016 years of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), I find that earlier employment start times are associated with earlier wake times, but somewhat less so for women than men. I do not find significant gender differences in the association between childcare start time and wake time. These findings highlight the importance of considering social differences in how employment schedules shape sleep timing.

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 Presented in Session 5. Health & Mortality 1