To examine the association of maternal lifetime experiences of racial discrimination with infant sleep duration over the first 2 years of life.
Prebirth cohort study.
Massachusetts, USA (baseline: 1999-2002).
552 mother-infant dyads in Project Viva, for whom the mother self-identified as being a woman of color.
During pregnancy, mothers completed the Experiences of Discrimination survey that measured lifetime experiences of racial discrimination in eight domains. The main outcome was a weighted average of their infants' 24-hour sleep duration from 6 months to 2 years.
30% reported 0 domains of racial discrimination, 35% 1-2 domains, and 34% ≥3 domains. Any racial discrimination (≥1 vs. 0 domains) was higher among black (80%) versus Hispanic (58%) or Asian (53%) mothers and the United States versus foreign-born mothers (79% vs. 58%) and was associated with higher mean prepregnancy BMI (26.8 vs. 24.5 kg/m). Children whose mothers reported ≥3 domains versus 0 domains had shorter sleep duration from 6 months to 2 years in unadjusted analysis (β -18.6 min/d; 95% CI -37.3, 0.0), which was attenuated after adjusting for maternal race/ethnicity and nativity (-13.6 min/d; -33.7, 6.5). We found stronger associations of racial discrimination with offspring sleep at 6 months (-49.3 min/d; -85.3, -13.2) than for sleep at 1 year (-13.5 min/d; -47.2, 20.3) or 2 years (4.2 min/d; -21.5, 29.9).
Maternal lifetime experiences of racial discrimination was associated with shorter offspring sleep duration at 6 months, but not with infant's sleep at 1 and 2 years of age.