Neighborhood disadvantage is associated with actigraphy-assessed sleep continuity and short sleep duration

Wendy M. Troxel, Amy Desantis, Andrea S. Richardson, Robin Beckman, Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar, Alvin Nugroho, Lauren Hale, Daniel J. Buysse, Matthew Buman, Tamara Dubowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Study Objectives Neighborhood disadvantage has been linked to poor sleep. However, the extant research has primarily focused on self-reported assessments of sleep and neighborhood characteristics. The current study examines the association between objective and perceived neighborhood characteristics and actigraphy-assessed sleep duration, efficiency, and wakefulness after sleep onset (WASO) in an urban sample of African American adults. Methods We examined data from predominantly African American adults (n = 788, mean age 55 years; 77% female) living in two low-income neighborhoods. Perceived neighborhood characteristics included safety, social cohesion, and satisfaction with one's neighborhood as a place to live. Objective neighborhood conditions included walkability, disorder, street lighting, and crime levels. Sleep duration, efficiency, and WASO were measured via 7 days of wrist-worn actigraphy. Analyses estimated each of the sleep outcomes as a function of perceived and objective neighborhood characteristics. Individual-level sociodemographics, body mass index, and psychological distress were included as covariates. Results Greater perceived safety was associated with higher sleep efficiency and shorter WASO. Greater neighborhood disorder and street lighting were associated with poorer sleep efficiency and longer WASO and greater likelihood of short sleep duration (<7 versus 7-9 hr as referent). Higher levels of crime were associated with poorer sleep efficiency and longer WASO, but these associations were only evident in one of the neighborhoods. Conclusions Both how residents perceive their neighborhood and their exposure to objectively measured neighborhood disorder, lighting, and crime have implications for sleep continuity. These findings suggest that neighborhood conditions may contribute to disparities in sleep health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • actigraphy
  • crime
  • disparities
  • neighborhood disadvantage
  • sleep
  • socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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