Gay Men Have More Trouble Falling Asleep, Researchers Say

by Dan Avery

Gay men are more likely to have problems getting to sleep, a new study finds.

Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics surveyed more than 100,000 men and women.

Participants’ sleep habits were tracked over a period of two years and compared them to the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendations of seven-to-nine hours for adults 18 to 64 and seven-to-eight hours for over 65.

The study, published in Sleep Health, found that overall LGBT people had more trouble achieving quality sleep than their heterosexual peers: Gay men encountered more problems falling asleep, while lesbians were more likely to report wake up during the night or feeling groggy in the morning.

Bisexual women were at the bottom of the barrel in terms of both quality sleep and feeling well-rested the next day. Researchers also found that gay men were most likely to use medication to help them fall sleep.

The study, authored by the University of Leeds’ Laura Hardie, postulated that the increased likelihood of smoking and mental health issues among LGBT people contributed to their poor sleep habits. Understanding other factors could “provide an understanding of how to assist in improving overall health among sexual minority groups.”

Long term lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain, poor heart health and depression.