Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 169–183 | Cite as

Insomnia and Its Relationship to Work and Health in a Working-Age Population

  • Steven J. Linton
  • Ing-Liss Bryngelsson


Because sleep may directly or indirectly be related to disability, we examined the prevalence of sleep problems in working-age people in the general population and explored the relationship among sleep, health, and work. A cross-sectional survey, mailed to 3,000 people aged 20–60, was employed, featuring criteria to define sleep problems and standardized items to assess work and health. Although the criteria for insomnia was met by 8% of the sample, the 3-month prevalence of sleep problems was 35%. Sleep was related to self-reported mental, physical, and social health as well as to health-care utilization. As for work, poor sleep was linked to absenteeism, employment status, work hours, and the psychosocial work environment. Moreover, poor sleep was associated with reduced work capacity, for example, reduced concentration, listlessness, and difficulties in making decisions. Multivariate analyses that controlled age, gender, and health factors found that not being employed and poor work-content increased the risk for sleep problems. We conclude that sleep problems are prevalent among working-age people and that there is a bilateral link between sleep and work. There is a need to develop treatment as well as preventive interventions oriented towards workers and the workplace.

insomnia prevalence work stress 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven J. Linton
    • 1
  • Ing-Liss Bryngelsson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Occupational and Environmental MedicineÖrebro Medical CenterÖrebroSweden
  2. 2.Department of Occupational and Environmental MedicineÖrebro Medical CenterÖrebroSweden

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