For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn


Sleep Health Journal Article Highlights Disparity in Treatment of Insomnia in Minority Patients


Washington, D.C. (February 28, 2023): New research findings published in the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) Sleep Health Journal show patients belonging to racial minority groups are less likely to be prescribed an insomnia medication than white patients, after accounting for sociodemographic and clinical factors.

Racial Disparities in the Pharmacological Treatment of Insomnia: A Time-to-Event Analysis Using Real-World Data (Holler, Campbell, Boustani, Dexter, Ben Miled, and Owora) analyzed nearly 10,000 patients who were diagnosed with insomnia during 2011-2019.

Findings showed that 6.2% of Black patients received a prescription for an FDA-approved insomnia medication after diagnosis, compared to 13.5% of white patients. Black patients were significantly less likely to receive a prescription for an FDA-approved insomnia medication at all timepoints.

“Insomnia is incredibly common, but unfortunately, its burden often falls disproportionately on minority groups. Our findings suggest that these vulnerable groups are also less likely to be prescribed insomnia medications, highlighting the need for further research on disparities in sleep care and the factors that influence clinician decision-making,” said Emma Holler, MPH, the primary author on this work.

“Prescribing providers should be aware of these disparities and encouraged to ensure equity in their practice,” said NSF Board Chair, Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi, MD, PhD.

The National Sleep Foundation believes that everyone should have the same opportunity to be their Best Slept Self®. Understanding the sources of racial/ethnic sleep health disparities and promoting actionable solutions to eliminate them and achieve sleep heath equity is critical to the NSF’s mission.

Read the NSF’s Position Statement on Sleep Health Equity here. For more information about sleep health, visit


About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well- being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice.

About Sleep Health®: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation

The landmark, award-winning peer-reviewed journal Sleep Health publishes the latest studies on the cross-section of sleep’s role in population health and the social sciences from global, multidisciplinary perspectives.