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Sarah Burgard and
Jennifer Ailshire published their article “Gender and Time for Sleep among U.S.
Adults” in February of 2013.  This
article compares evidence from self –reports from biomedical studies that women
sleep for more extended hours as opposed to men because women have a work
schedule which allows them to sleep longer. 
(Burgard & Ailshire, 2013)

 

II.    Purpose of the Research

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The purpose of this
study is to look into the gender differences in time for sleep between men and
women. It will also look at the relationship between the sleeping time, and the
time spent in both compensated and uncompensated jobs. (Burgard et
al., 2013)

 

III.    Theories

Gender tradeoffs, for instance,
within the family formations (Abraham et al. 2008) are some of the reasons
behind the differences in sleeping time between men and women. Women have a
higher tendency to minimize their paid jobs the moment family responsibilities and
unpaid occupations arise. On the contrary, men tend to increase the amount of
time spent on compensated jobs once they become parents. In such a case, the
man is likely to sleep less and work more, to cater for the additional family
size. However, most of the women are increasingly changing the regular pattern.
Some of them tend to prolong the working time for the paid occupations, thus
reducing the time they spend in sleeping. This scenario is typical among the
single mothers, as well, who do not have anybody else to rely on. They have to
work longer to sustain their families. In such cases, there is no difference
between men and women concerning time for sleeping. (Burgard et
al. 2013)

 

Secondly,
as people progress in age, they shift from youth stage to partnership and then parenthood
(Basner et al. 2007). The implication is that the responsibilities and spending
increase, prompting both men and women to work harder and for more extended
hours. The family expectations based on gender may reduce the time for sleep.
For instance, most societies expect men to be the providers. For this reason,
nature will dictate that the men have to work longer hours and reduce their
time for sleeping. However, the women in the care-giving category may end up
sleeping for fewer hours as well. The possible decline in the sleeping time is
due to the potential interruptions to provide care to the other people. She may
need to wake up and attend to the kids. In this case, the sleeping time will
reduce even if the woman is doing an unpaid job. Therefore, the roles in the
family may restrict the time partners have for sleeping and also recreational
activities.

IV.    Research Method

The study used the American Time Use Survey. The
subjects aged between eighteen years and sixty-four years. The sample size
comprised of fifty-six thousand, one hundred and forty- nine respondents. The
sample consisted of both men and women, hence no gender biases. (Burgard et al.
2013)The study was an interview. After the rotation of
the current population survey, then the interview for the respondents would
take place. The duration of the interview would be between two and five months
following the rotation of the population survey. The outcome of the interview
was the source of the data for this study. The respondents first received the
notification regarding the study through the emails. The emails would comprise
of the nature of questions, and then the interview would happen through the
phone. (Burgard et al. 2013)The study did not have any ethical issues. The
respondents did it out of free will, and they had all the necessary protection
from harm. They also had a guaranteed right to the privacy of the information
they provided during the interview. The sleep measures were dominant. Among the
dependent variables included the minutes of sleeping time. The measurement for
the variable depended on either sleeping or sleeplessness. Another test for
this variable is the bedtimes, comparing early and late bedtimes. Moreover, the
use of time in paid activities was a measure because it directly affected the
time for sleeping. Some of the independent variables included the time spent in
activities such as exercise and leisure. Other variables included the time
spent in waiting for lines for security operations and the waiting time in any
service industry. The measurement of these variables comprised of the total
time taken to perform the activities. (Burgard et al. 2013)V.    ResultsOverall,
women sleep more and for a longer time as opposed to men (Burgard, 2011).
However, women appeared to engage in more unpaid occupations as opposed to men.
The activities include child nursing and caregiving. During these operations,
the women have to wake up from sleep to perform the actions. The waking
requirement amounts to sleep interruptions, which end up lowering the time
spent on sleeping. In addition to that, the family roles for the men and the
women directly affect the length of sleeping time. If the man is the provider
for the family, then he has to increase the working time and reduce the
sleeping time. The same case happens to the women who are single parents. Apart
from the caregiving responsibilities, they have to increase the working time to
cater to the needs of their families. Partnership
and family dynamics directly affect the sleeping time. Men, in most cases,
happen to work more when they engage in partnership as opposed to the time when
they were single. It is from the collaboration that parenthood arises, and the
roles and financial commitments increase with time. Their increase calls for
less sleeping time and more time for paid jobs. In addition to that, the survey
confirmed that the quality of sleep decreases with the increase in the possible
interruptions. Once interrupted from sleep by anything, the affected person may
not perform well at the place of work. The findings support the hypotheses for
the study.  VI.    SummaryIt is clear
that women sleep more as compared to men. However, they tend to experience
interruptions due to their duty of care towards the other members of the
family. Nevertheless, the study had some limitations. For instance, the
attitude towards sleep based on gender may lead to men believing that they always
sleep for less time and work for more time. Some bias is possible in the
reporting of time diary. The respondent provides the information depending on
free will, and sometimes the data may be wrong. In addition to that, the survey
analyzed a single day. It does not have room for possible changes in the
sleeping cycle for the same respondents. It is possible to change the sleeping
duration depending on the circumstances at hand, and the survey does not have
room for such adjustments. There is the need to consider the people aged above
sixty-four years, who may have a significant pattern of sleep depending on
their occupations. This study was an applied research since it analyzed the
outcomes of the respondents based on their activities and time for rest. (Burgard
et al. 2013)

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