Sleep symptoms, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic position

Michael A. Grandner, Megan E. Ruiter Petrov, Pinyo Rattanaumpawan, Nicholas Jackson, Alec Platt, Nirav P. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

220 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: Growing evidence indicates sleep is a major public health issue. Race/ethnicity and socioeconomics may contribute to sleep problems. This study assessed whether sleep symptoms were more prevalent among minorities and/or the socioeconomically disadvantaged. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Epidemiologic survey. Patients or Participants: 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (N = 4,081). Interventions: None. Measurements and Results: Sociodemographics included age, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, and immigration. Socioeconomics included poverty, education, private insurance, and food insecurity. Sleep symptoms assessed were sleep latency > 30 min, difficulty falling asleep, sleep maintenance difficulties, early morning awakenings, non-restorative sleep, daytime sleepiness, snorting/gasping, and snoring. Decreased reported problems for most symptoms were found among minorities, immigrants, and lower education levels. In general, in fully adjusted models, long sleep latency was associated with female gender, being black/African American, lower education attainment, no private insurance, and food insecurity. Difficulty falling asleep, sleep maintenance difficulties, early morning awakenings, and non-restorative sleep were also associated with female gender and food insecurity. Daytime sleepiness was seen in female and divorced respondents. Snorting/gasping was more prevalent among male, other-Hispanic/Latino, and 9th- to 11th-grade-level respondents. Snoring was prevalent among male, other-Hispanic/Latino, less-educated, and food-insecure respondents. Conclusions: Sleep symptoms were associated with multiple sociodemographic and economic factors, though these relationships differed by predictor and sleep outcome. Also, reports depended on question wording.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-905
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2013


  • Health disparities
  • Insomnia
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Sleep disorders
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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