A news report from The Huffington Post examines the impact of race and socioeconomic status on sleep quality and duration.
Black Americans weren’t the only minority group suffering from poor sleep. Chen and her colleagues were surprised to find that a full 39 percent of Chinese-American participants suffered from sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that often goes undiagnosed. The finding was particularly noteworthy because although sleep apnea is often linked to obesity, Chinese-Americans had the lowest prevalence of obesity among any group.
In addition, Chinese-American participants were 2.3 times more likely to get short sleep as white participants. Hispanic participants were 1.8 times more likely than white participants to get short sleep. (Inexplicably, the data set researchers used singled out Chinese-Americans among Asians, but grouped Hispanics together.)
Race isn’t the only factor that affects who is getting high-quality sleep and who isn’t. Where you live, how much money you make, and even where you work can all impact sleep. While the study didn’t examine socioeconomic differences between study participants, previous research has shown that low-wage and shift workers have long born the health burden of sleep inequality in America, which is, at its core, a public health issue.