Employment status and the association of sociocultural stress with sleep in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL)

Sleep. 2019 Apr 1;42(4):zsz002. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz002.


Study objectives: We examined the association of sociocultural stress severity (i.e. acculturation stress, ethnic discrimination) and chronic stress burden with multiple dimensions of sleep in a population-based sample of US Hispanics/Latinos. We also explored whether employment status modified stress-sleep associations.

Methods: We conducted survey linear regressions to test the cross-sectional association of sociocultural stress severity and stress burden with sleep dimensions using data collected between 2010 and 2013 from individuals who participated in both the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sueño and Sociocultural Ancillary studies (N = 1192).

Results: Greater acculturation stress (B = 0.75, standard error [SE] = 0.26, p < .01) and chronic psychosocial stress burden (B = 1.04, SE = 0.18, p < .001) were associated with greater insomnia symptoms but were not associated with actigraphic measures of sleep. Ethnic discrimination was not associated with any of the sleep dimensions. The association of acculturation stress with insomnia severity was greater in unemployed (B = 2.06, SE = 0.34) compared to employed (B = 1.01, SE = 0.31) participants (p-interaction = .08).

Conclusions: Acculturation stress severity and chronic stress burden are important and consistent correlates of insomnia, but not actigraphically measured sleep dimensions. If replicated, future research should test whether interventions targeting the resolution of sociocultural stress improve sleep quality in Hispanics/Latinos.

Keywords: Hispanic; actigraphy; employment status; insomnia; psychosocial factors; sleep; social determinants; sociocultural; stress.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Actigraphy
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Public Health
  • Racism / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires