Conceptions of sleep experience: a layman perspective

Posted on 2018-07-18 - 05:00
Abstract Objective To date, there is little information on how lay people understand and discuss sleep in the context of daily life. Efforts to conceptualize sleep quality have been largely driven by clinical considerations of sleep disorders. As such, they are not necessarily of how normal sleepers without clinical expertise conceptualize sleep quality. A phenomenological approach was taken to understand the essence of the sleep experience and the concepts held by lay people without sleep disorders. A sentence completion questionnaire was developed and administered to a quota sample of 64 respondents who were selected aiming for sufficient representation of different gender, ages, and education levels. Results Significant sentences and meaningful units were derived inductively, resulting in a classification of nine categories. The major facets of sleep experience of lay people were ‘daytime functioning’, ‘interruptions during the night’ and ‘before bed state’. This implies that the experienced sleep quality is not only depending on the progress of the night. These results can guide future research to provide suitable psychometric measures for normal sleepers, as well as the design of sleep data visualization applications in the context of health self-monitoring.


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Maaike Goelema
Renske Bruijn
Sebastiaan Overeem
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