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Standards Set the Scene for Good Sleep Habits


It's well known that not getting enough sleep can have short-term negative repercussions, but hitting the snooze button multiple times every morning can lead to health consequences as well. A recent study conducted by researchers at Seoul National University College of Medicine found that getting too little sleep is associated with metabolic syndrome - and getting too much sleep can have the same effect.

The study found that individuals who slept fewer than six hours or more than ten hours each day were more likely to have metabolic syndrome, defined as having at least three of the following: elevated waist circumference, high triglyceride levels, low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol, hypertension, and high fasting blood sugar. Both men and women showed an increased incidence in metabolic syndrome if they slept more than ten hours daily, while only men showed this increase with less than six hours of sleep each night.

The importance of getting high quality sleep - and in the right amounts - cannot be underestimated. Many American National and international standards can contribute to a good night's rest. Having a supportive mattress and quality bedsheets can make all the difference between a solid slumber and a night of tossing and turning. ASTM International, a member and audited designator of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), has developed several American National Standards that address these components of a good night's sleep, including:

- ASTM F1566-14, Standard Test Method for Evaluation of Innersprings, Boxsprings, Mattresses, or Mattress Sets

- ASTM D4721-12, Standard Practice for Evaluation of the Performance of Machine Washable and Drycleanable Bedcoverings and Accessories

- ASTM D4037-01(2013), Standard Performance Specification for Woven, Knitted, or Flocked Bedspread Fabrics

Having a dark room free of sunlight or artificial light from streetlights or neighbors is critical for many sleepers, but cords hanging from window coverings can be hazardous for children and pets. ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2018, American National Standard for Safety of Corded Window Covering Products, provides guidelines for the safety of all interior window covering products, including cellular shades, horizontal blinds, pleated shades, rollup style blinds, and more, distributed as stock or custom products. This standard was developed by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.

While a good night's sleep certainly reduces negative health repercussions, the study reveals that sleeping too long can be harmful as well. An international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization helps to solve that problem by providing guidelines for the design of everyday products - including alarm clocks - for ease of use. ISO 20282-1:2006, Ease of operation of everyday products - Part 1: Design requirements for context of use and user characteristics, provides requirements and recommendations to make the interface of everyday products easy to use, from alarm clocks to telephones to photocopying machines. This standard was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 159, Ergonomics, Subcommittee (SC) 4, Ergonomics of human-system interaction. The U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to this TC and SC is the Human Factors & Ergonomic Society, an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.

Whether slumbering too much or too little is standing in the way of good health, you can rest assured that standards are there to help solve your sleep problems.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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