Homeless sleep less, more likely to have insomnia; sleep improvements needed

December 27, 2016, The JAMA Network Journals

The homeless sleep less and are more likely to have insomnia and daytime fatigue than people in the general population, findings researchers believe suggest more attention needs to be paid to improving sleep for this vulnerable population, according to a research letter published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Sleep is part of good health, but the often have no access to safe and warm beds at night. Damien Léger, M.D., Ph.D., of the Université Paris Descartes and Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, France, and coauthors analyzed responses from 3,453 people who met the definition of homeless in French cities; most of the participants were men and had an average age of almost 40. They were living on the street, in short-term shelters, small social services paid hotels and other facilities for with children.

A questionnaire was used to ask about total sleep time at night and over the past 24 hours. Responses from the homeless were compared to individuals in the who participated in a large survey of the French adult population.

The homeless reported shorter total sleep (6 hours 31 minutes vs. 7 hours 9 minutes). Among the homeless, 8 percent reported less than four hours of total sleep over the past 24 hours compared with 3 percent of the general population, according to the results.

Homeless women also were twice as likely as men to report that they slept less than four hours and insomnia was reported by 41 percent of the homeless compared with 19 percent of the comparison group. Also, 33 percent of the homeless reported daytime fatigue compared with 15 percent of the general population. Among the homeless, 25 percent also reported regularly taking a drug to help them sleep compared with 15 percent of the control group, the results suggest.

"We believe that improving sleep deserves more attention in this vulnerable group. We strongly support strategies other than hypnotic agents to improve sleep in the homeless, including more careful control of noise, lighting, heating and air conditioning at night. Facilities could provide residents with , such as earplugs, eye sleep masks and pillows. Screens between beds could offer some sense of privacy, even in collective dormitories, and addressing issues of personal security should promote better ," the article concludes.

Explore further: One-third of U.S. homeless population is obese: study

More information: JAMA Intern Med. Published online December 27, 2016. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7827

Related Stories

One-third of U.S. homeless population is obese: study

May 18, 2012
(HealthDay) -- One-third of homeless people in the United States are obese, about the same rate as the general population, a new study finds.

Refusing to be labelled as 'homeless' has positive impact

November 15, 2016
People experiencing homelessness who reject being defined 'homeless' not only reduce stigma associated with the label but are also more likely to increase their feeling of self-worth.

Homeless people suffer geriatric conditions decades early, study shows

February 26, 2016
Homeless people in their fifties have more geriatric conditions than those living in homes who are decades older, according to researchers at UC San Francisco who are following 350 people who are homeless and aged 50 and ...

One in three Americans gets too little sleep: study

February 18, 2016
One in three Americans does not get enough sleep on a regular basis, raising their risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, US health authorities said Thursday.

ASN: insufficient sleep might increase risk of kidney disease

November 6, 2015
(HealthDay)—Lack of sleep may be a gateway to chronic kidney disease, at least for women, a new study suggests. The results of the study are scheduled to be presented at the American Society of Nephrology's Kidney Week ...

Homeless Australians eat only two meals a day

April 14, 2016
Homeless Australians eat only 14 meals per week on average according to a University of Melbourne report about homelessness and access to food.

Recommended for you

A co-worker's rudeness can affect your sleep—and your partner's, study finds

December 14, 2018
Rudeness. Sarcastic comments. Demeaning language. Interrupting or talking over someone in a meeting. Workplace incivilities such as these are becoming increasingly common, and a new study from Portland State University and ...

A holiday gift to primary care doctors: Proof of their time crunch

December 14, 2018
The average primary care doctor needs to work six more hours a day than they already do, in order to make sure their patients get all the preventive and early-detection care they want and deserve, a new study finds.

Teens get more sleep with later school start time, researchers find

December 12, 2018
When Seattle Public Schools announced that it would reorganize school start times across the district for the fall of 2016, the massive undertaking took more than a year to deploy. Elementary schools started earlier, while ...

Large restaurant portions a global problem, study finds

December 12, 2018
A new multi-country study finds that large, high-calorie portion sizes in fast food and full service restaurants is not a problem unique to the United States. An international team of researchers found that 94 percent of ...

Receiving genetic information can change risk

December 11, 2018
Millions of people in the United States alone have submitted their DNA for analysis and received information that not only predicts their risk for disease but, it turns out, in some cases might also have influenced that risk, ...

Yes please to yoghurt and cheese: The new improved Mediterranean diet

December 11, 2018
Thousands of Australians can take heart as new research from the University of South Australia shows a dairy-enhanced Mediterranean diet will significantly increase health outcomes for those at risk of cardiovascular disease ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.