Sleep problems in humans have been reported to impact seriously on daily function and to have a close association with well-being. To examine the effects of individual sleep problems on physical and mental health, we conducted a nationwide epidemiological survey and examined the associations between sleep problems and perceived health status.
Cross-sectional surveys with a face-to-face interview were conducted in August and September, 2009, as part of the Nihon University Sleep and Mental Health Epidemiology Project (NUSMEP). Data from 2559 people aged 20 years or older were analyzed (response rate 54.0%). Participants completed a questionnaire on perceived physical and mental health statuses, and sleep problems including the presence or absence of insomnia symptoms (i.e., difficulty initiating sleep [DIS], difficulty maintaining sleep [DMS], and early morning awakening [EMA]), excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), poor sleep quality (PSQ), short sleep duration (SSD), and long sleep duration (LSD).
The prevalence of DIS, DMS, and EMA was 14.9%, 26.6%, and 11.7%, respectively, and 32.7% of the sample reported at least one of them. At the complaint level, the prevalence of EDS, PSQ, SSD, and LSD was 1.4%, 21.7%, 4.0%, and 3.2%, respectively. Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that DMS, PSQ, SSD, and LSD were independently associated with poor perceived physical health status; DIS, EDS, and PSQ were independently associated with poor perceived mental health status.
This study has demonstrated that sleep problems have individual significance with regard to perceived physical or mental health status.