Race and country of origin impact on your sleep

Two studies have discovered sleep patterns are affected by your racial and ethnic origins. In the first study, of 400,000 people, those born in the U.S. reported sleeping longer than the recommended seven to nine hours per night. African-born Americans sleep six hours or less and Indian-born Americans sleep six to eight hours a night writes Bryony Ashcroft at expathealth.org 

On a smaller scale, the second study, from Northwestern University, analysed sleep measurements of men and women in Chicago. The researchers found white participants slept significantly longer than other groups. Black people reported the worst sleep quality and Asians had the highest incidence of daytime sleepiness.

The results were adjusted to account for cardiovascular risk factors that are known to cause poor sleep, such as diabetes, high BMI and high blood pressure. Even after the adjustments the racial differences in sleep still persisted, explained Mercedes Carnethon, PhD, the lead author of the Northwestern study.

Which nationalities are most sleep deprived?

A global survey from the Philips Centre for Health and Wellbeing found the majority of Americans, Indians and Singaporeans were not getting enough sleep due to stress. In contrast, the majority of Brazilians, Taiwanese and Germans weren’t getting enough sleep because they tended to go to bed late and wake up early.

Another report looking at sleeping habits in ten countries found people in Japan spent the least time sleeping, 6 hours, 53 minutes on average. Those in Portugal slept the most with 8 hours 24 minutes the average.

In Japan alcohol was most commonly used to bring on sleep with herbal teas reportedly being used the least. In Japan only 8% of people said they visited a doctor regarding sleeping problems whereas over half of Portuguese would see a doctor.

Research shows that habitually sleeping shorter or longer than the recommended seven to nine hours for adults can be linked to certain higher health risks, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and accidents, as well as instances of mental or emotional disorders like depression.