Miller School Researchers Showcase Sleep Medicine Discoveries

Topics for abstracts to be presented at SLEEP 2024 include sleep environment and insomnia amongst Hispanics, climate change and sleep health, and sleep patterns in Haitians.

Man in bed struggling to get to sleep

Researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Center for Translational Sleep and Circadian Sciences will present 19 abstracts at the upcoming SLEEP 2024 conference.

Presentations include innovative studies shedding light on sleep health disparities that underscore the critical role of environmental, social and cultural factors in shaping sleep outcomes and highlight the urgent need for targeted interventions. Climate change and sleep is a recurring theme, with several abstracts focusing on the impact of environmental factors on sleep.

Additional studies the team will present at SLEEP 2024 include:

• Impact of Sleep Environment on Insomnia Severity for Hispanics in Florida: This pioneering study of 221 participants revealed a significant association between poorer sleep environments and increased insomnia. The finding expresses the impact of environment on sleep and the need for comprehensive interventions targeting environmental factors to mitigate insomnia within this demographic.

Climate Change and Sleep Health—The World Outside the Sleeper is Changing: This study elucidates how environmental and social factors influenced by climate change can shape sleep and circadian rhythms. Attendees will gain invaluable insights into the mechanisms underlying sleep disparities and the development of targeted interventions by exploring the profound influence of climate-related factors such as light exposure, noise, temperature fluctuations and societal changes on sleep and circadian health.

Effectiveness of Peer-Delivered Sleep Health Education Among At-Risk Black People: Researchers assessed the effectiveness of a culturally and linguistically tailored, peer-delivered obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) education (PEERS-ED) and social support to increase adherence to physician-recommended OSA evaluation among Black people. The study highlights the importance of peer-based social support above and beyond the potential effect of tailored OSA messages. The findings suggest that participation in the study itself might have been a catalyst to activate participants in the process of seeking OSA care, likely through a reduction in maladaptive beliefs about sleep.

• Sleep Patterns Among Haitians—Insights into the Transnational Mental Health Burden: Set against the ongoing turmoil in Haiti, the study identifies barriers and facilitators to mental health and reveals the profound impact of sociopolitical and economic factors on mental states. By connecting sleep disruption directly to violence and trauma, the study broadens the scope of discourse on global health challenges, especially in disaster-prone regions. Recommendations for mental health programs and community-based interventions provide a concrete basis for policy discussions and highlight the crucial role of community and culturally appropriate support systems.

Tags: Center for Translational Sleep and Circadian Sciences, sleep, SLEEP 2024, sleep apnea, sleep disorders