The Relationship between Alcohol Drinking Patterns and Sleep Duration among Black and White Men and Women in the United States

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Mar 20;15(3):557. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15030557.


In the United States, racial minorities generally experience poorer cardiovascular health compared to whites, and differences in alcohol consumption and sleep could contribute to these disparities. With a nationally representative sample of 187,950 adults in the National Health Interview Survey from 2004 to 2015, we examined the relationship between alcohol-drinking patterns and sleep duration/quality by race and sex. Using Poisson regression models with robust variance, we estimated sex-specific prevalence ratios for each sleep duration/quality category among blacks compared to whites within categories of alcohol-drinking pattern, adjusting for socioeconomic status and other potential confounders. Across alcohol drinking patterns, blacks were less likely than whites to report recommended sleep of 7-<9 h/day. Short (PR = 1.30 [95% CI: 1.22-1.39]) and long (PR = 1.30 [95% CI: 1.07-1.58]) sleep were 30% more prevalent among black-male infrequent heavy drinkers compared to white-male infrequent heavy drinkers. Short (PR = 1.27 [95% CI: 1.21-1.34]) sleep was more prevalent among black-female infrequent heavy drinkers compared to white-female infrequent heavy drinkers, but there was no difference for long sleep (PR = 1.09 [95% CI: 0.97-1.23]). Black female infrequent moderate drinkers, however, had a 16% higher (PR = 1.16 [95% CI: 1.01-1.33]) prevalence of long sleep compared to their white counterparts. Environmental, social, and biological factors contributing to these findings, along with their impact on disparate health outcomes, should be studied in greater detail.

Keywords: alcohol drinking; health status disparities; minority health; sex; sleep; sleep deprivation; sleep initiation and maintenance disorders.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / epidemiology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep*
  • United States