Doctor-patient sleep discussions for US adults: results from the SHADES study

Sleep Health. 2019 Dec;5(6):658-665. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2019.07.004. Epub 2019 Aug 14.


Objectives: Determine the current rate of patient-provider sleep discussions and identify factors associated with occurrence of these discussions.

Design: Secondary cross-sectional analysis of self-report data collected during the Sleep and Healthy Activity Diet Environment and Socialization study. Logistic regressions were used.

Setting: Urban and suburban Southeastern Pennsylvania PARTICIPANTS: A total of n = 998 adults (aged 22-60), 38.6% female, racially and socioeconomically diverse, from urban and suburban Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Measurements: Outcome measures were responses to 3 questions: (1) ever discussed sleep with a provider, (2) a provider ever discussed importance of sleep schedule, and (3) a provider ever discussed importance of enough sleep. Descriptive/independent variables included demographic factors and a wide range of patient-reported measures of health and sleep habits.

Results: About a third of individuals have ever discussed sleep with a provider. Factors associated with higher odds of sleep-related discussions included sleep medication use, worse insomnia severity, race (Black/African American, Hispanic, Latino, other/multiracial), female sex, higher education, higher body mass index, and worse depression severity. Factors associated with lower odds were Asian race and low income. Sleep discussions were not associated with certain factors indicative of sleep disorders: sleep duration, snoring, shift work schedule, not working, and anxiety.

Conclusions: Low rates of patient-provider sleep discussions and factors associated (or not) with their occurrence indicate missed opportunities for improved health outcomes.

Keywords: Health promotion; Primary health care; Sleep; Sleep health.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Sleep*
  • United States
  • Young Adult