Sleep: Studies in Sociology and Machine Learning Open Access

Chung, Joon (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL:


Although sleep constitutes a third of daily life, sleep is understudied in sociology. One interpretation for this neglect is that sleep represents a withdrawal from the social world and must therefore be uninformative of it. However, by neglecting sleep, sociologists miss an opportunity to study a socially patterned determinant of health, and to use sleep as an index of cultural values. In short, by neglecting sleep, sociologists miss an opportunity to understand better things they want to understand well.

This dissertation gives four illustrations of the use of sleep to sociology. The following chapters show how sleep is patterned by social relationships, socio-demographics, social health, and culture. The first study examines 26,943 news articles from major news publications to show the evolution of sleep discourse in the US media. Specifically, it shows how sleep is increasingly construed as essential for health. Furthermore, it shows that attitudes towards sleep are put in tension with attitudes towards work and how sleep is a health outcome that has been resistant to medicalization. The next three chapters focus on embodiment by showing how sleep is patterned by social support, social strain, socio-demographics, social integration, and social well-being. These chapters use a subset of a nationally representative sample, the MacArthur Study of Successful Midlife Development (MIDUS).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction. 1

Title: The Social Construction of Sleep in the U.S. Print Media: 1983-2017. 8

Introduction. 9

A Brief History of the Social Study of Sleep. 11

A Modern Cultural Sociology of Sleep. 14

Methods. 20

Results. 23

Validation. 30

Discussion. 33

Title: Social support, social strain, sleep quality, and actigraphic sleep characteristics: evidence from a national survey of US adults. 49

Introduction. 51

Participants and Methods. 54

Results. 59

Discussion. 60

Title: Three classes of sleepers, their social distributions, and associations with metabolic syndrome in an actigraphy and daily diary study of healthy, non-institutionalized US adults. 72

Introduction. 74

Participants and methods. 77

Results. 81

Discussion. 83

Title: Social health and sleep health: Analyses of social integration, social well-being, and actigraphic and diary-reported sleep in a national survey of U.S. adults. 100

Introduction. 102

Participants and Methods. 108

Results. 114

Discussion. 116

Conclusion. 132

About this Dissertation

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research Field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files