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  • Carmela Alc√°ntara, Associate Professor, Columbia School of Social Work (Bio)

  • Natasha J. Williams, Assistant Professor, NYU Langone, New York University Grossman School of Medicine (Bio)


This session will provide a brief overview of sleep, and its role as an important determinant of health and health disparities, and the role of acute and chronic stress in sleep health. We will discuss how the confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic (coupled with the resulting financial crisis) and the racism pandemic in the United States affect sleep health. We will also discuss the differential impacts of these pandemics on the sleep health of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as community strengths and resilience factors. We will conclude with a discussion of various evidence-based behavioral strategies to improve sleep health.

Objectives: Participants will better

  • Understand the function of sleep and its relationship to health, and health disparities in the United States.
  • Understand the impact of stress, discrimination, and trauma on sleep health in a COVID-19 and racism pandemic.
  • Understand evidence-based behavioral strategies to improve sleep health.