The link between global health policy and healthy sleep

LDI is a Senior Fellow among the international scientists working to raise awareness of sleep in government circles Heather Schofield. She and her research team reviewed the results and policy implications of their randomized control study and survey in Chennai, India. The study, “Information on sleep policy through field experience: Evidence is particularly needed by poorer communities“Is published in Science.

LDI Senior Fellow Heather Schofield is an Assistant Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School. For the past 10 years she has also been the co-director of a research laboratory in India dealing with health and economic equity issues for the local population of low-income workers. (Image: Hoag Levins)

the science The study comes from the team’s original sleep study paper published in. has been published The quarterly Journal of Economics, titled The economic consequences of getting more sleep among the urban poor. Schofield, assistant professor at both Perelman School of Medicine and The Wharton School, is also the co-founder and co-director of Behavior development laboratory in Chennai, India.

“It all started a few years ago when I was working on another research project in Chennai,” says Schofield. “One morning I was walking from my hotel to the research office and I passed this family sleeping on the sidewalk at the edge of a six-lane highway with trucks in one direction and cows in the other. There were horns and it was really hot and mosquitos were everywhere. I asked myself, ‘How can you sleep in it?’ That made me think about the difference in sleeping environment and how that variation might affect the economic impact. “

“Not many people think about the economics of sleep,” Schofield continued. “That surprises me because economics is about weighing costs and benefits, what happens in personal and political decisions about how much – or what kind – of sleep we get.”

Insufficient sleep is widely recognized in health circles as endemic to minority and low socioeconomic populations around the world. It plays a significant role in the higher rates of ill health that are common in the same populations. Researchers characterize sleep deprivation as “a historically neglected aspect of racial inequality”.

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