Short sleep duration and poor sleep quality are more prevalent among African Americans (AAs) and may be a modifiable risk factor for cardiometabolic disorders. However, research is limited about sleep-related attitudes, beliefs, and practices among AAs. Our objective was to evaluate these practices and beliefs surrounding sleep among urban-dwelling AAs.
Qualitative study comprised of five 90-minute focus groups using a semistructured interview guide.
Five churches located on the west side of Chicago.
Adults (N = 43) ages 25-75 years.
Transcripts were voice recorded, transcribed, and then coded for content analysis using NVivo 12 Pro to capture themes in the discussions.
Most participants (86%) reported sleeping less than the recommended 7 or more hours. The discrepancy between actual and desired sleep duration was nearly 3 hours per night. Participants reported that sleep is essential for mental and physical health. Napping and consuming caffeine were frequently reported techniques for coping with lack of sleep. Noise, physical discomfort, and stress were reported as barriers to sleep, and participants reported using TV and other electronics to cope with racing thoughts or worry. Many participants were diagnosed with or knew someone with obstructive sleep apnea, but few participants had been diagnosed with insomnia or were aware of nonpharmacologic insomnia treatments.
A cycle of stress/disruptive environment, stress, rumination at night, and coping by use of electronics and daytime napping may perpetuate sleep disparities in this community. Results suggest that sleep-related interventions should include stress reduction and environmental improvements in addition to the typical sleep hygiene–related behavioral recommendations.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- How did cause of death contriubte to racial differences in life expectency in the United States in 2010?.NCHS Data Brief. 2013; 125: 1-8
- Trends in cardiovascular health metrics and associations with all-cause and CVD mortality among US adults.JAMA. 2012; 307: 1273-1283
- Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2016 update: a report from the American Heart Association.Circulation. 2016; 133: e38-360
- Differences in sleep between black and white adults: an update and future directions.Sleep Med. 2016; 18: 74-81
- Normal sleep in African-Americans and Caucasian-Americans: a meta-analysis.Sleep Med. 2011; 12: 209-214
- Sleep symptoms, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic position.J Clin Sleep Med. 2013; 9: 897-905; 905A-905D
- Sleep duration and diabetes risk: population trends and potential mechanisms.Curr Diab Rep. 2016; 16: 106
- Unequal burden of sleep-related obesity among black and white Americans.Sleep Health. 2015; 1: 169-176
- Determinants of racial/ethnic disparities in disordered sleep and obesity.Sleep Health. 2017; 3: 401-415
- The contribution of psychosocial stressors to sleep among African Americans in the Jackson Heart Study.Sleep. 2016; 39: 1411-1419
- The social patterning of sleep in African Americans: associations of socioeconomic position and neighborhood characteristics with sleep in the Jackson Heart Study.Sleep. 2016; 39: 1749-1759
- Short and long sleep duration associated with race/ethnicity, sociodemographics, and socioeconomic position.Sleep. 2014; 37: 601-611
- Associations of neighborhood characteristics with sleep timing and quality: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.Sleep. 2013; 36: 1543-1551
- Unconsciousness and society: the sociology of sleep.International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society. 1993; 6: 463-471
- Engaging with sleep: male definitions.understandings and attitudes Sociology of Health and Illness. 2008; 30: 696-710
- "My stuffed animals help me": the importance, barriers, and strategies for adequate sleep behaviors of school-age children and parents.Sleep Health. 2019; 5: 152-160
- Sleep-related behaviors and beliefs associated with race/ethnicity in women.J Natl Med Assoc. 2013; 105: 4-15
- Physical neighborhood and social environment, beliefs about sleep, sleep hygiene behaviors, and sleep quality among African Americans.Sleep Health. 2018; 4: 258-264
- Developing and maintaining partnerships with communities.in: Israel B. Eng E. Schulz A. Parker E. Methods in Community Based Participatory Research. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco2005: 31-51
- The methodology of focus groups; the importance of interaction between research participants.Sociology of Health and Illness. 1994; 16: 103-121
- Normal aging.in: Kryger M.H. Roth T. Dement W.C. Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine. Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA2017: 25-38
- Content Analysis: An Introduction to its Methodology.Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA2004
- The problem of validating content analysis.in: Lasswell H.D. Leites N. Lanugage of Politics. MIT, Cambridge, MA1965
Gavora P. The state-of-the arte of content analysis. Educational Science 2015:6–18.
- Content Analysis in Communications Research.Hafner Publishing Company, New York1971
- Beliefs and attitudes toward obstructive sleep apnea evaluation and treatment among blacks.J Natl Med Assoc. 2012; 104: 510-519
- The sleep and technology use of Americans: findings from the National Sleep Foundation's 2011 Sleep in America poll.J Clin Sleep Med. 2013; 9: 1291-1299
- The use of media as a sleep aid in adults.Behav Sleep Med. 2016; 14: 121-133
- Embodying and embedding children's sleep: some sociological comments and observations.Sociological Research Online. 2007; 12: 6
- Binge viewing, sleep, and the role of pre-sleep arousal.J Clin Sleep Med. 2017; 13: 1001-1008
- Racial differences in sleep-disordered breathing in African-Americans and Caucasians.Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1997; 155: 186-192
- Race and residential socioeconomics as predictors of CPAP adherence.Sleep. 2011; 34: 1653-1658
- Sleep apnea in an urban public hospital: assessment of severity and treatment adherence.J Clin Sleep Med. 2007; 3: 285-288
- Racial/ethnic disparities in sleep health and health care: importance of the sociocultural context.Sleep Health. 2015; 1: 28-35
- A community-oriented framework to increase screening and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea among blacks.Sleep Med. 2016; 18: 82-87
Published online: July 11, 2019
Accepted: June 4, 2019
Received in revised form: May 28, 2019
Received: November 6, 2018
© 2019 National Sleep Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
ScienceDirectAccess this article on ScienceDirect
- Erratum regarding missing Declaration of Competing Interest statements in previously published articlesSleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep FoundationVol. 6Issue 6