Social Indicators Research

, Volume 119, Issue 3, pp 1447–1465 | Cite as

Gender Difference in Sleep Problems: Focused on Time Use in Daily Life of Korea

  • Seung-Eun Cha
  • Ki-Soo Eun


Korea is well-known as one of the most sleepless country on the globe. Given the fact that sleep is closely connected with various health outcomes, we examined which group is more likely to experience sleep disorder problems within the context of time use. This study sets out to describe the differences in sleep disorder patterns between Korean men and women. In this study, we also tried to identify important socio-demoraphic factors and wake activity time use factors that might account for the sleep problem (short sleep/oversleep) and gender differences in sleep. Data from the original 2004 Korean Time Use Survey were used for this study (n = 16,958). Fifty-two percent of the respondents were women; the age range of the sample was 25–59 years. Results showed us that there was no gender differences found in dimension of short sleep. Still, women were less likely to be over sleeper rather than men, implying the existence of gender inequality in rest/free time. Results from the multinomial regression model showed that, although there were similarities in the impact of relevant factors, men’s sleep was more likely to be disturbed by their work role, while women’s sleep was affected by their work and family role. In this study, it was found that the gender difference in sleep problems was associated with time use, and especially the social roles that men and women occupied.


Problems in sleep Gender differences Time use study Work-family balance Short sleep Oversleep 


  1. Adam, E. K., Snell, E. K., & Pendry, P. (2007). Sleep timing and quantity in ecological and family context: A nationally representative time-diary study. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(1), 4–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arber, S., Bote, M., & Meadow, R. (2009). Gender and socio-economic patterning of self-reported sleep problem in Britain. Social Science and Medicine, 68, 281–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arber, S., & Cooper, H. (1999). Gender differences in health in later life: The new paradox? Social Science and Medicine, 48(1), 61–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Basner, M., Fomberstein, K. M., Razavi, F. M., Banks, S., William, J. H., Rosa, R. R., et al. (2007). American Time Use Survey: Sleep time and its relationship to waking activities. Sleep, 30(9), 1085–1095.Google Scholar
  5. Bianchi, S. M., Robinson, J. P., & Milike, M. A. (2007). Changing rhythms of American family life. New York: American Sociological Association.Google Scholar
  6. Burgard, S. A., & Ailshire, J. A. (2013). Gender and time for sleep among adults. American Sociological Review, 78(1), 51–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cha, S. (2005). The effects of marriage and parenthood on physical and mental health: Focused on gender difference. Doctoral Dissertation, Seoul National University, Seoul (in Korean).Google Scholar
  8. Cha, S. (2012). Glimpse on weekend leisure: Combining sleep with leisure and other activities. In Paper presented at 34th IATUR conference at Matsue, Japan.Google Scholar
  9. Chatzitheochari, S., & Arber, S. (2009). Lack of sleep, work and the long hours culture: Evidence from the UK time use. Work, Employment & Society, 23, 30–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chun, H., Khang, Kim I. H., & Cho, S. I. (2008). Explaining gender differences in ill-health in South Korea: The roles of socio-structural, psychosocial, and behavioral factors. Social Science and Medicine, 67, 988–1001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cutler, D. M., Glaeser, E. L., & Shapiro, J. M. (2003). Why have Americans become more obese? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 17(3), 93–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Eun, K. (2009). Household division of labor for married men and women in Korea. Korean Journal of Population, 35(3), 145–171.Google Scholar
  13. Eun, K. (2010). Gender difference in TV viewing time in Korean daily life. Korean Studies of Quarterly, 33(4), 395–427.Google Scholar
  14. Eun, K., & Cha, S. (2010). Covariates and gender differentials of sleep time in daily life of Korea. Annals of Statistics of Korea, 15(2), 82–103.Google Scholar
  15. Friedman, E. M., Hayney, M. S., Love, G. D., Urry, H. L., Rosenkranz, M. A., Davidson, R. J., et al. (2005). Social relationships, sleep quality, and interleukin-6 in aging women. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102(51), 18757–18762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gangwisch, J. E., Heymsfield, S. B., & Boden-Albala, B. (2006). Short sleep duration as a risk factor for hypertension: Analyses of the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Hypertension, 5, 833–839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gershuney, (2000). Changing time-work and leisure in post industrial society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Hale, L. (2005). Who has time to sleep? Journal of Public Health, 27(2), 205–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hale, L., & Do, P. (2007). Racial differences in self-reports of sleep duration in a population-based study. Sleep, 30(9), 1096–1103.Google Scholar
  20. Hislop, J., & Arber, S. (2003). Sleepers wake: The gendered nature of sleep disruption among mid-life women. Sociology, 37, 695–711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hochschild, A. R., & Machung, A. (2003). The second shift. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  22. Hurst, M. (2008). Who gets any sleep these days? Sleep patterns of Canadians. Statistics Canada, 11, 39–44.Google Scholar
  23. Kalenkoski, C. M., & Pabilonia, W. P. (2009). Time to work or time to play: The effect of student employment on homework, sleep, and screen time. Labor Economics, 19(2), 211–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Krueger, P. M., & Friedman, E. M. (2009). Sleep duration in the United States: A cross-sectional population based study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 169, 1052–1063.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lee, K. A., Fiona, C., Baker, K., Newton, M., & Ancoli-Israel, S. (2008). The influence of reproductive status and age on women’s sleep. Journal of Women’s Health, 17(7), 1209–1214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lee, K. A., & Kryger, M. H. (2008). Women and sleep. Journal of Women’s Health, 17(7), 1189–1190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mattingly, M. J., & Bianchi, S. M. (2003). Gender difference in quantity and quality of free time: The U.S. experience. Social Forces, 81(3), 999–1030.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Maume, D., Sebastian, R. A., & Bardo, A. R. (2009). Gender difference in sleep disruption among retail food workers. American Sociological Review, 74(6), 98–1007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Meadow, D. J., Sabastian, R. A., & Bardo, A. R. (2010). Gender, work family responsibilities and sleep. Gender and Society, 24, 746–768.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Moen, P. (2003). It’s about time: Couples and careers. New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Moore, P., Adler, N. E., Williams, D. R., & Jackson, J. S. (2002). Socioeconomic status and health: The role of sleep. Psychosomatic Medicine, 64, 337–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nam, E., & Choi, Y. (2008). The effects of social class on the leisure activities in Korea: Based on types and satisfaction of leisure activities. Korean Journal of Population Studies, 31(3), 57–84.Google Scholar
  33. OECD. (2009). Society at a glance.
  34. Park, S. E., Kim, H. M., Kim, D. H., Kim, J., Cha, B. S., & Kim, D. J. (2009). The association between sleep duration and general and abdominal obesity in Koreans: Data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001 and 2005. Obesity, 17(4), 767–771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Redwine, L., Hauger, R. L., Gillin, J. C., & Irwin, M. (2000). Effects of sleep and sleep deprivation on interleukin-6, growth hormone, cortisol, and melatonin levels in humans. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 85, 3597–3603.Google Scholar
  36. Robinson, J. P., & Williams, M. (2010). Sleep as a victim of time crunch: A multinational analysis. International Journal of Time Use Research, 7(1), 62–71.Google Scholar
  37. Ryff, C. D., Burton, H., Singer, B. H., & Love, D. (2004). Positive health: Connecting well-being with biology. Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, 359(1449), 1383–1394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sayer, L. (2005). Gender, time and inequality. Social Forces, 84(1), 287–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Song, Y. J. (2011). Changes in parental time spent with children. Korean Journal of Population Studies, 34(2), 45–64.Google Scholar
  40. Statistics Korea. (2009). 2009 Korean social trends. Daejeon: Statistical Research Institute.Google Scholar
  41. Statistics Korea. (2013). 2013 Korean social trends. Daejeon: Statistical Research Institute.Google Scholar
  42. Taheri, S., Lin, L., Austin, D., Young, T., & Mignot, E. (2004). Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Medicine 3, e6.
  43. Tamakoshi, A., & Ohno, Y. (2004). Self-reported sleep duration as a predictor of all-cause mortality: Results from the JACC study, Japan. Sleep, 54(1), 51.Google Scholar
  44. Venn, S., Arber, S., Meadow, R., & Hislop, J. (2008). The fourth shift: Exploring gendered nature of sleep disruptions among couples with children. The British Journal of Sociology, 59(1), 79–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Yaggi, H. K., Araujo, A. B., & McKinlay, J. B. (2006). Sleep duration as a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 3, 657–661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child, Family and WelfareThe University of SuwonHwasung-siKorea
  2. 2.Graduate School of International Studies (Korean Society & Culture)Seoul National UniversitySeoulKorea

Personalised recommendations