Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 699–716 | Cite as

Discrimination, Sleep, and Stress Reactivity: Pathways to African American-White Cardiometabolic Risk Inequities

  • Bridget J. Goosby
  • Elizabeth Straley
  • Jacob E. Cheadle
Article

Abstract

This review provides a model explicating two related physiologic and behavioral pathways through which the chronic daily stress of the expectation and experience of discrimination exposure can shape life course cardiometabolic risk trajectories: sleep and stress reactivity. We argue that these two pathways work together jointly to shape African American-White disparities in cardiometabolic morbidities. The body’s ongoing anticipation of experiencing racism-related stressors disrupts sleep, a behavior highly responsive to stress reactivity, which is also elevated during stressful conditions. The constant feedback between sleep disruption and the body’s stress response can lead to higher allostatic load and disproportionate exposure to stress-related illness among African Americans earlier in their life course.

Keywords

Discrimination Sleep Stress Racial inequities Cardiometabolic 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bridget J. Goosby
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Straley
    • 1
  • Jacob E. Cheadle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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