Neighborhoods and sleep health among adults: A systematic review

Byoungjun Kim, Charles C. Branas, Kara E. Rudolph, Christopher N. Morrison, Basile Chaix, Wendy M. Troxel, Dustin T. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: Sleep is an important determinant of various health outcomes, and insufficient sleep and sleep disorders are a public health crisis in the United States. The objective of this review is to provide an update on scientific contributions to our understanding of the social/built environmental determinants of sleep health. In particular, this review focuses on the diverse measurements of neighborhood characteristics and sleep outcomes, as well as analytic approaches for quantifying the effect of neighborhood on sleep health. Methods: Two major electronic databases were searched and reviewed for relevant articles that examined the associations of social/built environments with sleep health. Inclusion criteria included peer-reviewed empirical studies on neighborhood-level characteristics and sleep health among adult populations. Results: Systematic searches in MEDLINE/PubMed and SCOPUS identified 52 eligible articles (out of 11,084). Various social/built environmental characteristics of neighborhoods were identified as potential determinants of sleep health, and the majority of studies examined neighborhood social capital, safety, and environmental stressors. However, 88% of included articles employed cross-sectional study designs, limiting causal identification. We found substantial differences in neighborhood measures, variations in sleep health measurements with the majority employing self-reported methods, and inconsistent model specifications. While the majority of articles (48%) utilized perceived neighborhood conditions as the main exposure, more recent studies (23%) employed geographic information systems to measure neighborhood characteristics. Conclusions: To establish the causal relationships between social/physical neighborhood characteristics and sleep health, more studies should be conducted with longitudinal, quasi-experimental, and randomized trial designs coupled with objectively measured neighborhood and sleep health parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-333
Number of pages12
JournalSleep Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Neighborhood
  • Sleep health
  • Social determinants
  • Spatial analysis
  • Study design
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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