Commuting and Sleep: Results From the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sueño Ancillary Study

Am J Prev Med. 2018 Mar;54(3):e49-e57. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.11.006. Epub 2018 Jan 12.


Introduction: Commute time is associated with reduced sleep time, but previous studies have relied on self-reported sleep assessment. The present study investigated the relationships between commute time for employment and objective sleep patterns among non-shift working U.S. Hispanic/Latino adults.

Methods: From 2010 to 2013, Hispanic/Latino employed, non-shift-working adults (n=760, aged 18-64 years) from the Sueño study, ancillary to the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, reported their total daily commute time to and from work, completed questionnaires on sleep and other health behaviors, and wore wrist actigraphs to record sleep duration, continuity, and variability for 1 week. Survey linear regression models of the actigraphic and self-reported sleep measures regressed on categorized commute time (short: 1-44 minutes; moderate: 45-89 minutes; long: ≥90 minutes) were built adjusting for relevant covariates. For associations that suggested a linear relationship, continuous commute time was modeled as the exposure. Moderation effects by age, sex, income, and depressive symptoms also were explored.

Results: Commute time was linearly related to sleep duration on work days such that each additional hour of commute time conferred 15 minutes of sleep loss (p=0.01). Compared with short commutes, individuals with moderate commutes had greater sleep duration variability (p=0.04) and lower interdaily stability (p=0.046, a measure of sleep/wake schedule regularity). No significant associations were detected for self-reported sleep measures.

Conclusions: Commute time is significantly associated with actigraphy-measured sleep duration and regularity among Hispanic/Latino adults. Interventions to shorten commute times should be evaluated to help improve sleep habits in this minority population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Adult
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Report / statistics & numerical data
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Time Factors
  • Transportation / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult