Transgender people suffer discrimination, isolation and lack of social support. This, along with negative psychosocial challenges, such as denying access to gender-neutral toilets, being a college student, and having an associate professor of neurology, Shelley Hershner MD, He calls it a “perfect storm,” which can lead to sleep disorders and other mental health concerns.
Hershner, who directs University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Clinic, studies are sleeping among college students, and now he and his colleagues are filling a gap in research on the association of a transgender person with sleep and mood disorders. A 2021 study found that college students were transgender significantly higher probabilities diagnosis of insomnia, sleep and mood disorders, and suicidal behavior, compared to their cisgender – having a gender identity that was assigned to a person who was assigned a gender at birth.
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the study was published in The Nature and Science of Sleep, where Hershner and colleagues analyzed self-information data from 221,549 North American college students according to a survey by The American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment II. This survey collects student data on health, health behaviors, and perceptions.
Of the 221,549 participants, 3,471 students reported being identified as transgender in the U.S., and 717 in Canada. The study showed that, compared to gender students, transgender college students were: 35% more likely to have poor sleep; 51% more likely to have difficulty sleeping; 41% more chance of falling asleep during the day; and 245% are likely to be diagnosed or treated for a sleep disorder.
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Hershner explained that sleep quality can affect mood, academic performance, quality of life, GPA, and school retention.
“College students are already at high risk for sleep and mood problems, and being transgender when you add the extra stress of being marginalized, discriminated against and excluded increases your risk of success at a weak point in your life,” he said.
The researchers also found that the likelihood of depression and anxiety among transgender students was also significant. According to their study, transgender people are 295% more likely to be diagnosed with depression and 253% more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety.
Hershner’s research has also confirmed previous research that proves this transgender students have greater opportunities suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts compared to cisgender students. Hershner reports that transgender college students are 345% more likely to commit suicide and 421% more likely to commit suicide.
For Hershner, the next steps are to find solutions and interventions to improve sleep among transgender college students. Future research is also needed to determine whether gender affirmation therapy can improve mood and sleep disorders.
Equally important for further research? —Defense.
Hershner wants to use this information and additional resources to advocate for inclusive gender policies on university campuses.
At the beginning of the year Michigan Medicine received the full score (100 out of 100 points) A National Reference Tool developed by the Human Rights Campaign to assess the practices and policies of health systems for LGBTQ + patients, visitors and staff on the Health Equality Index.
Hershner praises the rating LGBTQ Health Advocacy Advisory Committee in Michigan Medicine, Designed to care for and support LGBTQIA + patients, families and visitors. But his research indicates that there are more universities and institutions must act to help transgender people.
“Students should be able to use their chosen name; they need to be able to declare their pronouns in health care systems to prevent gender misconduct. There should also be gender-inclusive bathrooms and gender-inclusive housing so that roommates are not just chosen by legal sex. “Non-discrimination policies are key, and each state will have to decide where things go from the legislature,” Hershner said.
The authors of the paper are: Hershner, Shelley, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Sleep Disorders Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Erica C Jansen, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health; Ronald Gavidia, Center for Sleep Disorders, Department of Neurology, University of Michigan; Lisa Matlen, Department of Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders Center, University of Michigan; Mary Hoban, American College Health Association, Research Office; and Galit Levi Dunietz, Center for Sleep Disorders, Department of Neurology, University of Michigan.
Mention the role: “Associations between transgender identity, sleep, mental health, and suicide among a cohort of North American college students.” The Nature and Science of Sleep. TWO: 10.2147 / NSS.S286131
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