Differences in sleep timing and related effects between African Americans and non-Hispanic Whites

Daniel Combs, Chiu Hsieh Hsu, Omavi Bailey, Salma I. Patel, Saif Mashaqi, Lauren Estep, Natalie Provencio-Dean, Silvia Lopez, Sairam Parthasarathy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: Prior studies have shown a morning chronotype for African Americans compared with non-HispanicWhites, yet self-reported sleep timing is delayed in African Americans compared with Whites. Methods: We analyzed data from the Multi-Ethnicity Study of Atherosclerosis, a multisite community-based cohort. Self-reported and actigraphic sleep timing, chronotype measured by the modified Horne-Östberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire, and risk of depression measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale were examined using nonparametric approaches and linear or logistic regression while comparing between African Americans and Whites and evaluating the effects of delayed sleep phase. Results: In 1,401 participants, therewas no difference in chronotype between African Americans andWhites. African Americans were 80% more likely to report a delayed sleep phase (defined as bedtime aftermidnight) on weekdays and 50%more likely on weekends than wereWhites. Actigraphic data showed similar results. Actigraphic midsleep time was delayed 38 minutes on weekdays and 24 minutes on weekends in African Americans compared with Whites. Stratified analysis by chronotype showed that African Americans with a morning or intermediate chronotype had a significantly delayed sleep phase compared withWhites, but there was no difference between African Americans andWhites with an evening chronotype. Delayed sleep phase was associated with depression, but this relationship was only significant in White participants. Conclusions: African Americans had a delayed sleep phase compared with Whites that was more pronounced in individuals with a morning or intermediate chronotype. Consequences of delayed sleep phase may vary by race and ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-908
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • African American
  • Delayed sleep phase
  • Depression
  • Health disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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