Skip to main content

What Does Sleep Have to Do with Belonging?

By Dr. Bisi Alli

You may know that sleep affects mental and physical health as well as performance, but did you know sleep is linked to belonging too? Most simply, belonging includes feelings of connection and love through humanity, and is tied to human survival. Sleep and belonging can impact one another. By comparison, belonging may seem less important compared to sleep, but both sleep and belonging can mitigate risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, anxiety, dementia, and death.

A few studies have explored the relationship between sleep, stress, and belonging in collegiate student athletes and racial/ethnic minorities, including tribal communities. A sense of belonging “moderated the relationship between stress and sleep difficulties.” At a daily level, “sleep quality predict[ed] next-day affect, belonging, and well-being.”

Try these steps daily to stive for better quality sleep and boost your sense of belonging:

  1. Identify at least 1 person you connect with at home/school/work.
  2. Act on 2 simple ways to help others at home/school/work?
  3. Write down 3 things you are grateful for about home/school/work.
  4. Reflect on or visualize the three steps above and rest more peacefully.

Encourage everyone to journal as a way to be able to track improvements in your sleep, sense of connection, and stress levels at home/school/work.

AMWA offers some additional resources to understand the issues of sleep in women. Visit: Sleep Awareness 2024

Adebisi (Bisi) Alli, DO, MSAbout the author:

Bisi Alli, DO, MS, FACP, FAMWA, DipABLM, is dual board-certified in internal medicine and Lifestyle Medicine.  Principal, WellNEST Medicine™️. She is a quality improvement & patient safety expert as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt; 10+ years of full-time, direct patient care and creating system changes




Would you like a place to belong with like-minded women physicians? Then come join us at AMWA and use the first-timer membership code: time, for a 15% discount on annual dues. JOIN


  1. Harris PE, Gordon AM, Dover TL, Small PA, Collins NL, Major B. Sleep, Emotions, and Sense of Belonging: A Daily Experience Study. Affect Sci. 2022;3(2):295-306.
  2. John-Henderson NA, Palmer CA, Thomas A. Life stress, sense of belonging and sleep in American Indian college students. Sleep Health. 2019;5(4):352-358.
  3. Storey QK, Hewitt PL, Ogrodniczuk JS. Managing daily responsibilities among collegiate student-athletes: Examining the roles of stress, sleep, and sense of belonging. J Am Coll Health. 2022:1-7.

Jodi Godfrey

Close Menu