Article

Sleep problems and their correlates in a working population

Stanford University Department of Medicine Palo Alto California
Journal of General Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.42). 01/1995; 10(1):25-32. DOI: 10.1007/BF02599573

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: To measure the prevalence of sleep problems in a working population and examine their association with health problems, health-related
quality-of-life measures, work-related problems, and medical expenditures. Also, to explore the usefulness of a sleep-problems
screen for mental health conditions and underlying sleep disorders.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey administered via voice mail and telephone interview.

SETTING: A San Francisco Bay Area telecommunications firm.

PARTICIPANTS: Volunteer sample of 588 employees who worked for a minimum of six months at the company and were enrolled in its fee-for-service
health plan.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Thirty percent of respondents reported currently experiencing sleep problems and were found to have worse functioning and
well-being (general health, cognitive functioning, energy), more work-related problems (decreased job performance and lower
satisfaction, increased absenteeism), and a greater likelihood of comorbid physical and mental health conditions than were
the respondents who did not have sleep problems. They also demonstrated a trend toward higher medical expenditures.

CONCLUSIONS: Self-perceived sleep problems were common among the respondents and were associated with poorer health and health-related
quality of life. A single question about sleep problems may serve as an effective screen for identifying primary care patients
with mental health problems, as well as underlying sleep disorders.

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    • "As a central part of recovery, sleep quality is said to be important in preventing long-term negative effects of stress on health. Poor sleep quality, including fragmented sleep (increased amount of awakenings), inefficient sleep (reduced percentage of time spent sleeping) and increased sleep onset latency (increased time needed to fall asleep), has been associated with a variety of negative consequences, including health impairments such as elevated risk of myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease, muscle pain, headaches and gastrointestinal problems (Kuppermann et al., 1995; Schwartz et al., 1999). The causes of low sleep quality are various; however, evidence is increasing that work stress may play an important role in the development of disturbed sleep quality. "
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    • "Insomnia definitions ranged from too vague to too narrow. Several studies provided no symptom severity, frequency, or duration criteria (Kapur et al., 2002; Kuppermann et al., 1995), only symptom severity criteria (Hatoum, Kania, Kong, Wong, & Mendelson, 1998), or only symptom duration criteria (Weyerer & Dilling, 1991). Other studies used an operational definition of insomnia that was too restrictive (Leger et al., 2002; Novak et al., 2004; Simon & VonKorff, 1997). "
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    • "In Korea, the prevalence of sleep problems ranges between 5.0 and 32.9 % (Cho et al. 2009; Kim et al. 2011; Nomura et al. 2010; Ohayon and Hong 2002), depending on the characteristics of the population sampled and the definition/case assessment. Sleep problems including insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and sleep apnea have been linked to a variety of occupational health issues; those employees with sleep problems reported an elevated risk of depression and anxiety disorders (Motohashi and Takano 1995; Nakata 2011b), alcohol abuse (Weissman et al. 1997), suicide (Goldstein et al. 2008) and chronic pain (Kuppermann et al. 1995) and are considered to be at high risk for hypertension (Murata et al. 2007; Yang et al. 2006) and coronary heart disease (Mallon et al. 2002). "
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