Sleep as a familial and communal matter: a qualitative study of social norms around sleep health in Israel: a qualitative study of social norms around sleep health in Israel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: A growing body of research has clarified that sleep is influenced not only by biological factors but also by social factors. While studies have shown that social norms can affect sleep behavior and sleeping arrangements, including when, where, how, and with whom people sleep, researchers still know relatively little about how social norms affect sleep health, especially among adults. The current study explores the association between social norms and sleep health in the Israeli context.

METHODS: Data were drawn from semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 66 Israelis-including women and men, Arabs and Jews, and religious and non-religious persons-conducted between February 2020 and February 2022. This article focuses on responses to a set of questions about the comments people make or hear from others about their sleep. Exploring how people comment on the sleep of others highlights prevalent social norms around sleep.

RESULTS: Findings indicate that how sleep is "done" is policed by family and community members who react to norm violations by commenting on what is perceived as "inappropriate" sleep behavior. Comments were made in jest or earnest in response to breaches of social norms regarding sleep timing, duration, continuity, and alertness/sleepiness, indicating that social norms and expectations shape each of these sleep health dimensions.

CONCLUSIONS: This article expands the scholarly understanding of the social determinants of sleep health. The study concludes that since individuals may opt to conform to current social norms, which are enforced by members of the family and community, interventions aimed at promoting sleep health should target not only individuals but also the family and community.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2080
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, BioMed Central Ltd., part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Arabs
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Israel/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sleep
  • Social Norms

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Sleep as a familial and communal matter: a qualitative study of social norms around sleep health in Israel: a qualitative study of social norms around sleep health in Israel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this