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Meyer, Jess, M 2019. (Not) Working to Sleep: Employment's Contribution to Gender and Socioeconomic Sleep Differences.

Sleep is affected by social relationships and institutions, but much research has studied sleep within an individualized framework. In this dissertation, I analyze sleep in a series of specific social contexts to examine how these contexts shape gender and socioeconomic differences in sleep. Given prior findings suggesting the importance of employment schedules for sleep, I pay particular attention to variation in employment and employment policy contexts. My first empirical chapter uses data from the Statistics Canada General Social Survey to test whether gender differences in parents’ sleep narrowed after a change in macro-level employment policy—specifically, after introduction of dedicated paternity leave in the Canadian province of Quebec. My second analysis situates sleep at the intersection of work and family, using Multinational Time Use Study data to examine gender differences in how the time people start working, the time their partners start working, and the time their children start school associate with when they wake up in the morning. Finally, my third study focuses on life course context, examining whether educational differences in sleep duration vary over age and by retirement status in samples from the American Time Use Survey. In each of these studies I construct sleep measures from time diary data and carry out analysis using descriptive statistics and multivariate regression. Findings reinforce the idea that employment is an important determinant of sleep duration and that employment context shapes several gender and socioeconomic differences in sleep. More broadly, this research highlights the importance of not only examining how social structures, relationships, and inequalities impact sleep, but also of considering what sleep as a social activity reveals about our social lives.