Race, socioeconomic position and sleep

Natasha Williams, Girardin Jean-Louis, Judite Blanc, Douglas M. Wallace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


The objective of this chapter is to describe the current landscape in health disparities science in the United States. After providing a brief overview of health disparities, we summarized the available influential published studies on inadequate sleep duration, poor sleep quality, and a group of commonly reported sleep disorders including insomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Restless Leg Syndrome and Periodic Limb Movement. Overall, despite the heterogeneity in methodology measures and study population, black men and women report the shortest objective sleep duration relative to their white counterparts; while specific Hispanic subgroups may have been particularly at high risk for sleep disordered breathing. Several critical gaps remain with respect to other racial/ethnic groups and sexual minorities. Overall, we underlined the complex relationship between SES measures and perceived sleep health that may vary by racial/ethnic background. Finally, after exploring the potential influence on sleep health among minorities of acculturation, discrimination, worry and risk perception, and sleep opportunity, we later identified gaps in the literature and provided suggestions for future inquiry, including importance of personalized efficacious treatments adapted to the needs of vulnerable populations, and inclusion of sexual minorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSleep and Health
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780128153734
ISBN (Print)9780128153741
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Disparities
  • Equity
  • Minority health
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Sleep
  • Sleep health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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