Talking Sleep Season 4

Episode 21

College, Transgender Students and Sleep

Dr. Shelley Hershner, GUEST

Student Sleep Health Awareness week occurs every September, and AASM members are working hard to provide sleep education for students and parents. We know that 70% of high school students don’t get enough sleep, and this continues through college. Insufficient sleep isn’t the only sleep-related issue impacting our college students.

Dr. Shelley Hershner has developed a Collegiate Sleep Disorders Clinic, which offers an expedited evaluation of students. She is an associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan. Through her research, she has found that there are also certain populations of students, such as transgender students, who may be at higher risk of sleep disorders. She is here to help us understand the significance of this issue and how we can better serve our college students.

Episode Resources

  1. University of Michigan Collegiate Sleep Disorders Clinic
  2. Harry-Hernandez S, Reisner SL, Schrimshaw EW, et al. Gender dysphoria, mental health, and poor sleep health among transgender and gender nonbinary individuals: A qualitative study in New York City. Transgender Health. 2020;5(1):59-68.
  3. Hershner S, Jansen EC, Gavidia R, Matlen L, Hoban M, Dunietz GL. Associations between transgender identity, sleep, mental health and suicidality among a North American cohort of college students. Nat Sci Sleep. 2021;13:383-398.
  4. Gavidia R, Whitney DG, Hershner S, Selkie EM, Tauman R, Dunietz GL. Gender identity and transition: Relationships with sleep disorders in US youth. J Clin Sleep Med. 2022;18(11):2553-2559.
  5. Grant J, Mottet L, Tanis J, Herman JL, Harrison J, Keisling M. National transgender discrimination survey report on health and health care. 2010.
  6. Bradford J, Reisner SL, Honnold JA, Xavier J. Experiences of transgender-related discrimination and implications for health: Results from the Virginia Transgender Health Initiative Study. Am J Public Health. 2013;103(10):1820-1829.
  7. Seelman KL, Colón-Diaz MJP, LeCroix RH, Xavier-Brier M, Kattari L. Transgender noninclusive healthcare and delaying care because of fear: Connections to general health and mental health among transgender adults. Transgender Health. 2017;2(1):17-28.
  8. Robertson B, Lerner B, Collen J, Smith PR. The effects of transgender hormone therapy on sleep and breathing: A case series. J Clin Sleep Med.
  9. Popovic RM, White DP. Upper airway muscle activity in normal women: Influence of hormonal status. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1998;84(3):1055-1062.
  10. Cole AP, Hanske J, Jiang W, et al. Impact of testosterone replacement therapy on thromboembolism, heart disease and obstructive sleep apnoea in men. BJU Int. 2018;121(5):811–818.