Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 1053–1061 | Cite as

Do Disparities in Sleep Duration Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities Contribute to Differences in Disease Prevalence?

  • Vijay Kumar ChattuEmail author
  • Soosanna Kumary Chattu
  • David Warren Spence
  • Md. Dilshad Manzar
  • Deepa Burman
  • Seithikurippu R. Pandi-PerumalEmail author


Sleep duration in the USA has declined continually during the second half of the twentieth century, before reaching a plateau in the early twenty-first century. However, not everyone has been equally affected by this continuous decline. Epidemiological studies indicate that ethnic minorities are sleeping even less than those in the general population. Today, Americans are sleeping, on average, for 6 h. This is significantly below the minimum recommended sleep duration of at least 7 h a day. This insufficiency of sleep duration, however, is not evenly distributed in the population, and different racial and ethnic minority groups are known to have an increased risk of experiencing shorter sleep duration and poorer sleep quality than their White peers. In tandem with this disproportionate decline in sleep duration are similar racial and ethnic disparities in overall health. This paper explores the differences in sleep duration and quality which exist for different ethnic groups, the probable causes behind such inequities, and their relationship to the growth of specific disease conditions. This review also considers sleep disorders in various racial and ethnic groups, and how these disorders are related to health outcomes. Finally, we discuss some of the implications of these differences, and particularly their clinical relevance, and recommend ways in which they might be addressed.


Insufficient sleep Race Ethnicity Sleep-related disorders Disparities 



The authors would like to acknowledge all the authors and researchers of the articles that were reviewed in preparing this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.School of Public HealthTexila American UniversityGeorgetownGuyana
  3. 3.Independent ResearcherTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of Nursing, College of Applied Medical SciencesMajmaah UniversityMajmaahSaudi Arabia
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  6. 6.Somnogen Canada Inc.TorontoCanada

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