International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 310–318

Conflicts Between Work and Family Life and Subsequent Sleep Problems Among Employees from Finland, Britain, and Japan

  • T. Lallukka
  • J. E. Ferrie
  • M. Kivimäki
  • M. J. Shipley
  • M. Sekine
  • T. Tatsuse
  • O. Pietiläinen
  • O. Rahkonen
  • M. G. Marmot
  • E. Lahelma



Research on the association between family-to-work and work-to-family conflicts and sleep problems is sparse and mostly cross-sectional. We examined these associations prospectively in three occupational cohorts.


Data were derived from the Finnish Helsinki Health Study (n = 3,881), the British Whitehall II Study (n = 3,998), and the Japanese Civil Servants Study (n = 1,834). Sleep problems were assessed using the Jenkins sleep questionnaire in the Finnish and British cohorts and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index in the Japanese cohort. Family-to-work and work-to-family conflicts measured whether family life interfered with work or vice versa. Age, baseline sleep problems, job strain, and self-rated health were adjusted for in logistic regression analyses.


Adjusted for age and baseline sleep, strong family-to-work conflicts were associated with subsequent sleep problems among Finnish women (OR, 1.33 (95 % CI, 1.02–1.73)) and Japanese employees of both sexes (OR, 7.61 (95 % CI, 1.01–57.2) for women; OR, 1.97 (95 % CI, 1.06–3.66) for men). Strong work-to-family conflicts were associated with subsequent sleep problems in British, Finnish, and Japanese women (OR, 2.36 (95 % CI, 1.42–3.93), 1.62 (95 % CI, 1.20–2.18), and 5.35 (95 % CI, 1.00–28.55), respectively) adjusted for age and baseline sleep problems. In men, this association was seen only in the British cohort (OR, 2.02 (95 % CI, 1.42–2.88)). Adjustments for job strain and self-rated health produced no significant attenuation of these associations.


Family-to-work and work-to-family conflicts predicted subsequent sleep problems among the majority of employees in three occupational cohorts.


Sleep Quality Work-family Interface Prospective International Comparison Gender 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Lallukka
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. E. Ferrie
    • 3
    • 4
  • M. Kivimäki
    • 3
  • M. J. Shipley
    • 3
  • M. Sekine
    • 5
  • T. Tatsuse
    • 5
  • O. Pietiläinen
    • 1
  • O. Rahkonen
    • 1
  • M. G. Marmot
    • 3
  • E. Lahelma
    • 1
  1. 1.Hjelt Institute, Department of Public HealthUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Finnish Institute of Occupational HealthHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.School of Community and Social MedicineUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  5. 5.University of ToyamaToyamaJapan

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