Article Text

other Versions

Download PDFPDF
Original article
Sleep-related problems in the US working population: prevalence and association with shiftwork status
  1. Lee C Yong,
  2. Jia Li,
  3. Geoffrey M Calvert
  1. Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Geoffrey M Calvert, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1090 Tusculum Avenue, R-17, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA; jac6{at}


Objective To estimate the prevalence of a comprehensive set of self-reported sleep problems by job characteristics, including shiftwork status, among a representative sample of US workers.

Methods Data for 6338 workers aged ≥18 years were obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Short sleep duration was defined as <7 hours per weekday/workday. Sleep quality was categorised as good, moderate and poor based on the frequency of 6 sleep-related symptoms. A sleep-related activities of daily living (ADL) score ≥2 was defined as impaired. Insomnia was defined as having poor sleep quality and impaired ADL. Shiftwork status was categorised as daytime, night, evening, rotating or another schedule. Prevalence rates were calculated and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used.

Results The prevalence of short sleep duration (37.6% overall) was highest among night shift workers (61.8%; p<0.001). The prevalence of poor sleep quality was 19.2% among all workers, with the highest prevalence among night shift workers (30.7%, p=0.004). The prevalence of impaired ADL score (24.8% overall) and insomnia (8.8% overall) was also highest for night shift workers (36.2%, p=0.001 and 18.5%, p=0.013, respectively). In multivariate analysis, night shift workers had the highest likelihood of these sleep problems.

Conclusions Self-reported short sleep duration, poor sleep quality, impaired ADL score and insomnia are common among US workers especially among night shift workers. Although these findings should be confirmed with objective sleep measures, they support the need for intervention programmes to improve sleep quantity and quality among night shift workers.

  • insomnia
  • shiftwork

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.