Recent Updates in the Social and Environmental Determinants of Sleep Health

Published in: Current Sleep Medicine Reports, Volume 1, pages 212–217 (2015). doi: 10.1007/s40675-015-0023-y

Posted on RAND.org on March 16, 2021

by Lauren Hale, Erin Emanuele, Sarah James

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In this brief review article, we provide an overview of recent (since 2010) scientific contributions to our understanding of the social and environmental determinants of sleep health. In particular, we focus on three areas where we saw the most contributions to the determinants of sleep health among children, adolescents, and adults. First, studies of neighborhood context and sleep health find that sleep quality and quantity are lower in disadvantaged neighborhoods. These negative associations are often stronger for women than for men. Second, family factors matter for sleep health. Children from families with more parental resources sleep better than do children from families without such resources. Adults with children sleep less than those without, and work-family conflict is an impediment to good sleep. Third, media use is problematic for sleep health. Around the world, higher levels of screen media use are associated with lower quality and quantity of sleep. Future research on the social and environmental determinants of sleep health will grow out of these three areas of current research. In addition, we anticipate new research in the international realm and in the area of interventions designed to improve the population's sleep health.

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