Sleep Patterns Vary By Neighborhood and Socioeconomic Status Interview with
Dr. Shona E. Fang Sc.D.
New England Research Institutes, Inc
Watertown, Massachusetts

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Fang: Sleep duration varied by neighborhood in Boston, a diverse urban setting.

Individual factors, including socioeconomic status, explained some of this variation, while neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) explained a much larger portion.

Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Fang: Just how much neighborhood socioeconomic status impacted variations in sleep duration was surprising.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Fang: Clinicians should keep environmental factors in mind when treating patients with disturbed sleep. Things associated with neighborhood socioeconomic status like ambient noise, light and perhaps even feelings of being safe during sleep should not be discounted as potentially modifiable factors for the nighttime environment.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Fang: Future research should aim to understand the mechanisms by which neighborhood socioeconomic status can impact sleep.


Geographic variations in sleep duration: a multilevel analysis from the Boston Area Community Health (BACH) Survey
Shona C Fang, S V Subramanian, Rebecca Piccolo, May Yang, H Klar Yaggi, Donald L Bliwise, Andre B Araujo

J Epidemiol Community Health jech-2013-203256Published Online First: 8 September 2014 doi:10.1136/jech-2013-203256