Characterization of Sleep Inadequacy and Association with Health among Homeless Adults



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Background: Multiple health disparities, potentially affected by sleep inadequacy, are common among homeless individuals in the United States. Here, we characterize sleep inadequacy, examining its association with self-rated health (SRH) among a large sample of homeless adults. Methods: Homeless adults from Dallas and Oklahoma (N=712; 66.3% men, Mage = 43.7+12) self-reported days (of 30 days) with insufficient sleep, sleep duration (over average 24 hours), and unintentional daytime sleep (of 30 days) using individual items from the BRFSS. SRH was assessed with a single item asking participants to rate their health in general (excellent/very good/good vs. fair/poor). Associations between variables were examined using biserial correlations adjusted for age, sex, race, education, weight status, number of months homeless, at-risk drinking, serious mental illness, smoking status, and recruitment site. Results: Overall, 34.1% of the sample reported fair/poor health. Participants reported 12.6+11.2 days of insufficient sleep, 6.7+2.2 hours of sleep a night, and 5.1+8.1 days with unintentional sleep. Insufficient sleep and unintentional sleep were positively, and sleep duration was negatively, associated with fair/poor SRH (all ps <.001). Conclusions: Results suggest that attention to improving sleep for homeless individuals could potentially improve homeless health.