Sociodemographic and cultural determinants of sleep deficiency: Implications for cardiometabolic disease risk

Kristen L. Knutson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sleep is a biological imperative associated with cardiometabolic disease risk. As such, a thorough discussion of the sociocultural and demographic determinants of sleep is warranted, if not overdue. This paper begins with a brief review of the laboratory and epidemiologic evidence linking sleep deficiency, which includes insufficient sleep and poor sleep quality, with increased risk of chronic cardiometabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension. Identification of the determinants of sleep deficiency is the critical next step to understanding the role sleep plays in human variation in health and disease. Therefore, the majority of this paper describes the different biopsychosocial determinants of sleep, including age, gender, psychosocial factors (depression, stress and loneliness), socioeconomic position and race/ethnicity. In addition, because sleep duration is partly determined by behavior, it will be shaped by cultural values, beliefs and practices. Therefore, possible cultural differences that may impact sleep are discussed. If certain cultural, ethnic or social groups are more likely to experience sleep deficiency, then these differences in sleep could increase their risk of cardiometabolic diseases. Furthermore, if the mechanisms underlying the increased risk of sleep deficiency in certain populations can be identified, interventions could be developed to target these mechanisms, reduce sleep differences and potentially reduce cardiometabolic disease risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume79
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Culture
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Sleep duration
  • Sleep quality
  • Socioeconomic position

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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