The Social Determinants of Sleep: An Analysis Using the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study

Lauren Hale, RAND

We investigate the relationship between social characteristics and sleep. Substantial evidence indicates the association between inadequate sleep and multiple adverse health outcomes, yet there is limited population-based research into the social determinants of poor sleep. We hypothesize that poor sleep may mediate the relationship between SES and health. We use the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) to explore how sex, education, marital status, wealth, and IQ are related to sleep patterns. Using bivariate logistic regressions, we find that women, widows, and those without a degree are more likely to have trouble sleeping, whereas singlehood, high relative wealth, and high IQ scores predict less trouble sleeping. In the full model, we find that having higher relative wealth is the only characteristic that remains statistically significant. This result confirms our expectation that wealthier people are more likely to have better sleep.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health and Mortality