A new study led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health finds that African Americans tend to sleep less than White Americans. The racial differences in sleep duration are particularly pronounced among professionals.
Lead author Chandra L. Jackson, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard and the lead author of the study, found that African Americans are more likely than Whites to have jobs where they work the night shift, which tends to disrupt normal sleep patterns. She notes, too, that African Americans are more likely than Whites to work two or more jobs and to be single parents which can increase responsibilities and reduce time available for sleep.
Dr. Jackson also found that African American are more likely than Whites to live in stressful environments that can make it more difficult to relax and sleep.
Dr. Jackson is a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. She earned a master degree at Harvard University and a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.