A recent study of 426 participants reported that African Americans seem to sleep less than White Americans. Unfortunately, their less “efficient” sleep correlates with their higher risk of cardiovascular disease (TheAtlantic.com, 3 August 2017).
The male and female participants of the study were measured for blood pressure, waist circumference, and insulin resistance, and given Fitbit-type units that kept track of how long they slept and how often they woke up during the middle of the night. The findings revealed that African Americans slept 40 minutes less and were more likely to wake up in the middle of the night or have a difficult time falling asleep. African Americans also had higher blood pressure and larger waist circumferences.
The studies scientists have speculated that the apparent lack of sleep among African Americans could be a result of the stress of neighborhood crime and economic instability. They also determined that the racial differences in sleep could explain the racial differences in cardiometabolic disease, particularly among black women. Quality sleep is crucial to quality health. More future studies may want to examine how sleep could explain health trends.