Perceptions of racism may cause loss of sleep and perhaps loss of sleep may also impact perceptions of racism.
A new study has found that
self-reported sleep disturbance correlated to perceived racism, which was increased by 61 percent after adjusting for socioeconomic factors and symptoms of depression. A similar relationship between perceived racism and daytime fatigue was no longer significant after additional adjustment for depressive symptoms.
The study involved an analysis of data from the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The world's largest, ongoing telephone health survey, it is an annual, state-based, random-digit-dialed survey of American adults. Researchers analyzed responses from 7,093 people in Michigan and Wisconsin, which were the only states to collect data on both sleep and racism.
Perceived racism was assessed with the question: "Within the past 12 months when seeking health care, do you feel your experiences were worse than, the same as, or better than for people of other races?" Responses were dichotomized as either "worse" or "same or better." Respondents were classified as having sleep disturbance if they reported having difficulty sleeping at least six nights in the past two weeks.
"This study found that an environmental stressor that exists purely at the social level - perceived racial discrimination - had a hand in how likely a person was to experience disturbed sleep," said lead author Michael A. Grandner, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa. "The most surprising finding in this study was that individuals who perceived racial discrimination were more likely to experience sleep difficulties, and it did not matter if they were Black or White, men or women, rich or poor, or even if they were otherwise depressed or not, since these were adjusted for in the statistical analysis.
Grandner noted that people who experience racial discrimination are more likely to have poor mental and physical health. The results suggest that sleep may be an important pathway linking discrimination with health problems.
"Sleep is essential for health, and many processes in our body depend on sleep to function properly," he said. "Disturbed sleep may be a factor that contributes to heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, depression, cancer, auto accidents, poor performance, and many other important outcomes. And even though sleep is a biological process, it can be affected by social environments."
The research was presented today at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Sexual Fantasies: Threesomes Are Normal, Golden Showers Not So Much
- Ghost Light From Dead Galaxies - A Hubble Halloween
- Mediterranean Diet Linked To Better Kidney Health
- Greenpeace Says Its GMOs Are Better Than Science's GMOs, Still Hates Golden Rice
- Cyclone Nilofar Looks More Like A Comet
- Game Theory: When Are Groups Social? Or Insufferable?
- US Wildlife Bans On GMOs And Neonics Lack Transparency And Scientific Rationale
- "Twelve years in a major urban public school system, and I couldn't once bring myself to eat a school..."
- "Hardly a day goes by without some creative new take on the eternal Evil White Man meme. Without..."
- "There would be no controversy if it were all balloons and ponies stories like that. But I hope..."
- "Let's talk about this disaster: I lost a course at the university where I work and became ineligible..."
- "Partisan nastiness doesn't advance dialogue. We are all in this together. You asked for solutions..."
- Battle of Britain: NGOs and scientists clash over proposal to loosen EU GMO restrictions
- Genetically modified clean energy from bacteria
- Designer babies: You can screen for cystic fibrosis but intelligence is a ways off
- Science as profane: What superstition of 1752 and 2014 share in common
- What’s so “natural” about “natural crop breeding”?
- Worried you have cancer? Take a Google pill!
- Report examines health care challenges for pregnant women enrolled in covered California
- NYU research: Majority of high school seniors favor more liberal marijuana policies
- ESA Frontiers November preview
- Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?
- Synthetic lethality offers a new approach to kill tumor cells, explains Moffitt researcher