‘MTSU On the Record’ looks into links between slee...

‘MTSU On the Record’ looks into links between sleep deprivation and children’s income, race

The effect of income and race on the amount of sleep children get was the topic of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Nikki Jones, a lecturer in the Department of Social Work, first aired Dec. 5 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and You can listen to their conversation above.

Department of Social Work lecturer Dr. Nikki Jones

Dr. Nikki Jones

Working with fellow social work faculty member Vickie Harden, Jones wrote an article on sleep deprivation among low-income children of color for (You can read the article here.)

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 children have shorter sleep durations and more sleep fragmentation than other children. Researchers have connected poor sleep habits with children’s 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.

WMOT Roots Radio-new logo-2017 web “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 study include parents ensuring that children have regular sleep schedules and less time with electronic devices, later school start times, reduced homework burdens, and assigning social workers to schools to give educators guidance.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.