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How sleep deprivation affects low-income children of color


How sleep deprivation affects low-income children of color

The impact of income and race on the amount of sleep children get will be the topic of the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Nikki Jones, a lecturer in the Department of Social Work, will air from 9:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, and from 6 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org.

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Dr. Vanessa (“Nikki”) Jones // MTSU Photo

In collaboration with fellow faculty member Vickie Harden, Jones wrote an article on sleep deprivation among low-income children of color for www.youthtoday.org. Jones and Harden assert that lack of sleep may have a more adverse impact on this group than on other demographics.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine maintains that African-American youth have shorter sleep durations and more sleep fragmentation than other children. Researchers connect poor sleep habits with aggressive behavior and lack of impulse control.

“Living in a hostile community where there may be a lot of crime, lights (and) sirens, can contribute to sleep deprivation,” Jones said. “In addition to that, there are familiar factors — a parent being out of the home and (not being able to enforce regular sleep schedules) or living in a home where there’s a lot of noise.”

While Jones said that more research is warranted, some possibilities for future research include parental enforcement of regular sleep times, less time with electronic devices, later school start times, reduced homework burdens and social workers assigned to schools to give educators guidance.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to http://bit.ly/mtsu-otr.

For more information, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

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