Document Type


Publication Date

December 2014


This study addressed health disparities in sleep duration, sleep quality, and daytime sleepiness among African-American college students. To investigate evening behaviors promoting insufficient and inadequate sleep, we assessed electronic (e.g., computer and music) and nonelectronic (e.g., socializing) sleep competing activities (SCA). Students (N = 154) were recruited from a Historically Black College (HBCU). The results showed more dysfunction than has previously been reported in college populations, with HBCU students reporting very short sleep durations, high levels of daytime sleepiness, and poor sleep quality. These students engaged in many activities during the evening, and these activities predicted unhealthy sleep. Whereas electronic and nonelectronic activities significantly impacted sleep quality and sleep duration, only electronic activities were significantly related to sleep latency and only nonelectronic activities were significantly related to daytime sleepiness. We conclude that sleep is a major concern for college students and, in particular, racial minority college students. Understanding the role of SCA can help address the various environmental barriers for successful treatment of these young adults.