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It seems that we increasingly walk by homeless people sleeping—or trying to sleep—on a cold sidewalk near the warmth of a heating vent. Even for those who secure a place in a shelter, it can be difficult to sleep in an unfamiliar, often crowded, and sometimes insecure place. Perhaps it’s obvious that homeless people are more likely to have difficulty sleeping than people who sleep in their own homes. But given the importance of sleep for good physical and mental health, we think the work of Léger et al1 in this issue of JAMA Internal Medicine in quantifying the prevalence of sleep problems in the homeless is important, and lays groundwork to start to address this problem. We recognize that the homeless population and homeless services are different in France than in the United States, but we believe that the magnitude of the problem of poor sleep is likely similar in homeless persons everywhere.
Grady D. Sleeping on the Street. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(2):280. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7261
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