Within-person associations between racial microaggressions and sleep among African American and Latinx young adults

Mattina A. Davenport, Antoinette M. Landor, Katharine H. Zeiders, Evelyn D. Sarsar, Melissa Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Emerging work suggests that experiences of racial discrimination may impact overall sleep health; however, there is limited work on the link between racial microaggressions and sleep. Using weekly diary data, the current study examined young adults’ weekly reports of racial microaggressions across 4 weeks, and their relation to weekly reports of sleep-onset latency, reduced total sleep time and poorer sleep quality. This design allowed us to examine how within-person fluctuations in racial microaggressions corresponded with young adults’ sleep. Data were collected among 140 African American (62.1%) and Latinx (37.9%) college students attending a Midwestern University. Students were randomly selected to participate; they were, on average, 20.70 years old (SD = 1.22) and the majority were female (69.3%). Participants self-reported their racial microaggressions and sleep behaviours (i.e. sleep-onset latency, total sleep time and sleep quality) each week (across 4 weeks). Multilevel modelling showed significant within-person effects of racial microaggressions for sleep onset and sleep quality, but not for total sleep duration. Specifically, on weeks that individuals reported increases in racial microaggressions, they reported greater sleep-onset duration and poorer sleep quality. The current findings provide preliminary evidence that racial microaggressions are associated with sleep-onset durations and sleep quality among African American and Latinx young adults. Although racial microaggressions are often considered subtle, they may impact the sleep health of young adults in marginalized groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13226
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • discrimination
  • microaggressions
  • racism
  • sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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