Despite mounting evidence that sleep duration is a risk factor across diverse health and functional domains, little is known about the distribution and determinants of sleep. In 2003-2004, the authors used wrist activity monitoring and sleep logs to measure time in bed, sleep latency (time required to fall asleep), sleep duration, and sleep efficiency (percentage of time in bed spent sleeping) over 3 days for 669 participants at one of the four sites of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study (Chicago, Illinois). Participants were aged 38-50 years, 58% were women, and 44% were Black. For the entire sample, mean time in bed was 7.5 (standard deviation (SD), 1.2) hours, mean sleep latency was 21.9 (SD, 29.0) minutes, mean sleep duration was 6.1 (SD, 1.2) hours, and mean sleep efficiency was 80.9 (SD, 11.3)%. All four parameters varied by race-sex group. Average sleep duration was 6.7 hours for White women, 6.1 hours for White men, 5.9 hours for Black women, and 5.1 hours for Black men. Race-sex differences (p < 0.001) remained after adjustment for socioeconomic, employment, household, and lifestyle factors and for apnea risk. Income was independently associated with sleep latency and efficiency. Sleep duration and quality, which have consequences for health, are strongly associated with race, sex, and socioeconomic status.