Sleep is modulated by several factors, including sex, age, and chronotype. It has been hypothesised that contemporary urban populations are under pressure towards shorter sleep duration and poorer sleep quality. Baependi is a small town in Brazil that provides a window of opportunity to study the influence of sleep patterns in a highly admixed rural population with a conservative lifestyle. We evaluated sleep characteristics, excessive daytime sleepiness, and chronotype using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Epworth Sleepiness Scale and Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire questionnaires, respectively. The sample consisted of 1,334 subjects from the Baependi Heart study (41.5% male; age: 46.5 ± 16.2 y, range: 18-89 years). Average self-reported sleep duration was 07:07 ± 01:31 (bedtime 22:32 ± 01:27, wake up time: 06:17 ± 01:25 hh:min), sleep quality score was 4.9 + 3.2, chronotype was 63.6 ± 10.8 and daytime sleepiness was 7.4 ± 4.8. Despite a shift towards morningness in the population, chronotype remained associated with reported actual sleep timing. Age and sex modulated the ontogeny of sleep and chronotype, increasing age was associated with earlier sleep time and shorter sleep duration. Women slept longer and later, and reported poorer sleep quality than men (p < 0.0001). This study provides indirect evidence in support of the hypothesis that sleep timing was earlier prior to full urbanisation.