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Insomnia Is Not Normal


Is it difficult trying to fall asleep at night or after working graveyard shift? Do you have to watch tv to fall asleep only to wake up and unable to fall asleep again. Many melanated individuals dread confessing their mental and health issues so public health data is not equally distributed across society. Whether you experience a sleepless night occasionally or almost every night, it is not normal. Sleep is one of the most important factors in living a healthy lifestyle. People in disadvantaged groups of a certain race, ethnicity, gender, and/or socioeconomic status frequently suffer from a greater share of health issues. Without adequate sleep, your overall health and well-being become jeopardized. Lack of sleep may contribute to your inability to concentrate and even make important decisions. Sleep, diet, and exercise are the basic foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Because of sleep’s critical role in overall wellness, sleep insufficiency may help explain other health disparities, such as the higher rates of cardiovascular disease among people of color. Experts across the physical and social sciences acknowledge that defining race and ethnicity is complicated. Despite historical claims to the contrary, these are not categories that can be defined biologically.

To better identify health disparities, researchers often employ broad categories of race and ethnicity, such as those found in the U.S. Census. Although these categories are imperfect and can represent groups as far more homogenous than they really are, they have served as a starting point for examining the differences in sleep and other health problems. I can’t tell you how many times I have stayed up late at night thinking about all the things I had to do the next day. Sometimes this leads me to think about all the things I have to do three weeks or even months from today. I find myself stressing out about things that I cannot deal with at that moment. Stress and worry is something I’m sure you deal with on a daily basis. An important component of future research recognizes that impacts of inequality can be distinct for people not just based on their race or ethnicity but also their gender, age, socioeconomic status, and other factors. A multifaceted view of health disparities enables a clearer understanding of these problems and their potential solutions.

You need to find ways to manage and cope with stress so that you do not spend your nights overthinking. Meditating can help clear your headspace and make you feel more at ease. To better identify health disparities, researchers often employ broad categories of race and ethnicity, such as those found in the U.S. Census. Although these categories are imperfect and can represent groups as far more homogenous than they really are, they have served as a starting point for examining the differences in sleep and other health problems.

You should aim to sleep at least 7 hours a night along with eating a nutritious diet and performing moderate exercise daily. Although I have always been active, I work full time and truly notice a difference in my sleeping habits when I go a day or two without exercise. Whether you go for a long walk, quick jog, or take a yoga class, being active during that day can help you sleep better at night. The National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America Poll gathers responses about key aspects of sleep behavior. The poll highlighted distinct responses from racial and ethnic groups and found that black respondents reported the least amount of sleep on weekdays. A number of other health survey studies have found similar results with higher rates of short sleep among black people than other groups. Sleep apnea, a breathing disorder with potentially serious health consequences, was found to be noticeably more common and more severe in melanated people and particularly for melanated young adults. Studies have also found higher rates of long sleep, defined as greater than 9 hours per night, among the black population. Like short sleep, long sleep can be problematic and has been associated with higher overall mortality rates. Researchers studying health disparities point to a number of potential causes of the higher rates of sleeping problems for people of color. A common theme among many of these factors is higher levels of both physical and emotional stress.

Stress induces changes in multiple systems of the body and puts a person in an “on alert” state, known as hyperarousal, that has been found to be a central driver of insomnia. People of color are more likely to work night shifts or irregular or extra hours that can throw off their sleep schedule and their ability to sync their circadian rhythm with the local day-night cycle. Many people of color report job stress from discrimination in the workplace. In addition, it’s more common for people of color to work in jobs with greater safety risks that can create stress or occupational exposures to allergens or irritants that may increase their susceptibility to sleep apnea. Many people of color report job stress from discrimination in the workplace. In addition, it’s more common for people of color to work in jobs with greater safety risks that can create stress or occupational exposures to allergens or irritants that may increase their susceptibility to sleep apnea. A higher percentage of people of color face unemployment and poverty, both of which can create financial pressure and significant day-to-day stress. Sleep is critical to virtually every aspect of health and wellness. It promotes physical health and recovery with direct effects on almost all systems of the body. Sleep is vital for cognitive function, attention, and memory. Sleep also plays an integral role in emotional health.

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