Gender and racial/ethnic differences in sleep duration in the North Texas heart study

Jessica R. Dietch, Daniel J. Taylor, Joshua M. Smyth, Chul Ahn, Timothy W. Smith, Bert N. Uchino, Matthew Allison, John M. Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective Short sleep duration has been linked with a wide array of poor mental and physical health outcomes. Such risks, however, may be moderated by demographic factors such as gender and race/ethnicity. In a diverse community sample, the current study examined the relationship between gender, race/ethnicity and objectively measured sleep duration, controlling for select potential confounds. Methods Participants were 300 community adults (50% female), aged 21 to 70 years, and included 60% non-Hispanic Whites, 15% non-Hispanic Blacks, 19% Hispanic/Latino, and 6% other. As part of a larger study, participants wore an actigraphy device over two nights to assess sleep duration (averaged across both nights). Gender and race/ethnicity were used as grouping variables in a two-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) predicting objectively assessed total sleep time, with age, income, and employment status as covariates. Results On average, males slept 34 min less than females (P =.002). After controlling for socioeconomic factors, there was a gender by race/ethnicity interaction (P =.030). Within males, Hispanics slept 45 min less than non-Hispanic Whites (P =.002) and 57 min less than non-Hispanic others (P =.008). Males also slept significantly less than females within the non-Hispanic White (difference = −22.9; P =.016) and the Hispanic (difference = −77.1; P <.001) groups. Conclusions Extending previous research, the current study provides additional evidence for differences in objective sleep duration based on gender and race/ethnicity in daily life. These data suggest that risk associated with sleep duration is patterned in important ways across gender and race/ethnicity; such information can be used to tailor prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-327
Number of pages4
JournalSleep health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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