Sleep and the Inner City: How Race and Neighborhood Context Relate to Sleep Duration
Lauren Hale, Stony Brook University, State University of New York
D. Phuong Do, RAND
The biobehavioral mechanisms that contribute to racial/ethnic disparities in health are not fully understood. Studies show that short (<6.5 hours) and long (>8.5 hours) sleepers have higher health risks than mid-range sleepers. We investigate whether sleep duration varies by racial and neighborhood characteristics, particularly by neighborhood racial segregation patterns. With data from the National Health Interview Study (NHIS), we estimate a multinomial logistic regression that predicts short, mid-range, and long sleep behavior including covariates for race/ethnicity, neighborhood context, among other health and demographic characteristics. Black respondents have an increased risk of being short and long sleepers relative to the white respondents. Living in a large city is associated with an increased risk of short sleeping compared to living in non-urban areas. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that unhealthy sleep patterns among blacks and large city residents may contribute to health differentials.