Background: We know that poor sleep can have important implications for a variety of health outcomes and some evidence suggests a link between sleep and aggressive behavior. However, few studies have looked at this relationship among African-Americans in the United States. Methods: Data from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL) and the NSAL Adult Re-Interview were used to examine associations between sleep duration and self-reported quality of sleep on reactive aggression among African American and Caribbean Black respondents between the ages of 18 and 65 (n=2499). Results: Controlling for an array of sociodemographic and psychiatric factors, sleep was found to be significantly associated with reactive aggression. Specifically, individuals who reported sleeping on average less than 5h per night were nearly three times more likely to report losing their temper and engaging in a physical fight (AOR=3.13, 95% CI=1.22-8.02). Moreover, individuals who reported being "very dissatisfied" with their sleep were more than two times more likely to report losing their temper and engaging in physical fights (AOR=3.32, 95% CI=1.50-7.33). Persons reporting everyday discrimination and problems managing stress were more likely to sleep poorly. Conclusions: The present study is among the first to document an association between poor sleep and reactive violence among African-Americans. Findings suggest that reducing discrimination may lead to improved sleep and subsequently reduce forms of reactive violence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry